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Property rights and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

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  • Claudio Araujo

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

  • Catherine Araujo Bonjean

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

  • Jean-Louis Combes

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

  • Pascale Combes Motel

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

  • Eustaquio J. Reis

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

Abstract

This paper focuses on the impact of property rights insecurity on deforestation in the Brazilian Legal Amazon. Deforestation is considered as a risk management strategy: property rights insecurity reduces the present value of forests and fosters forest conversion into agricultural and pasture lands. Moreover, deforestation is the consequence of strategic interactions between landowners and squatters. Landowners clear the forest preventively in order to assert the productive use of land and to reduce the expropriation risk. Squatters invade land plots, clear the forest and may afterwards gain official recognition with formal property titles. A particular attention is paid to the measure of land property rights insecurity in the Brazilian context. It is assumed that property rights insecurity has a multidimensional character taken into account by the number of homicides related to land conflicts and expropriation procedures. Principal component analysis allows synthesising such information. An econometric model of deforestation is estimated on a panel dataset on the 1988-2000 period and the nine states of the Brazilian Legal Amazon. The hypothesis that insecure land property rights contribute to higher rates of deforestation is not rejected when the simultaneity bias between insecure property rights and deforestation is addressed. This result questions the modality of the Brazilian land reform that considers forested areas as unproductive and thus open for expropriation procedures.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00556699.

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Date of creation: 17 Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00556699

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Keywords: deforestation; insecure property rights; Brazilian Legal Amazon;

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Cited by:
  1. Aklin, Michaël & Bayer, Patrick & Harish, S.P. & Urpelainen, Johannes, 2013. "Understanding environmental policy preferences: New evidence from Brazil," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 28-36.
  2. Ariane Manuela AMIN & Johanna CHOUMERT & Jean-Louis COMBES & Pascale COMBES MOTEL & Eric Nazindigouba KERE & Jean Galbert ONGONO OLINGA & Sonia SCHWARTZ, 2014. "A spatial econometric approach to spillover effects between protected areas and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon," Working Papers 201406, CERDI.
  3. Kalifi Ferretti-Gallon and Jonah Busch, 2014. "What Drives Deforestation and What Stops It? A Meta-Analysis of Spatially Explicit Econometric Studies - Working Paper 361," Working Papers 361, Center for Global Development.
  4. Weslem Faria & Alexandre Almeida, 2011. "Agricultural Expansion, Openness to Trade and Deforestation at the Brazilian Amazon: A Spatial Econometric Analysis," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1013, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Galinato, Gregmar I. & Galinato, Suzette P., 2013. "The short-run and long-run effects of corruption control and political stability on forest cover," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 153-161.
  6. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, 2012. "Trade and Environmental Quality in African Countries: Do Institutions Matter?," ICER Working Papers, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research 14-2012, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
  7. Holland, Margaret B. & de Koning, Free & Morales, Manuel & Naughton-Treves, Lisa & Robinson, Brian E. & Suárez, Luis, 2014. "Complex Tenure and Deforestation: Implications for Conservation Incentives in the Ecuadorian Amazon," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 21-36.
  8. Jérôme Trotignon, 2012. "Les émissions de CO2 du Brésil - L'impact du secteur UTCATF (usage des terres, changement d'affectation des terres et foresterie)," Working Papers halshs-00746524, HAL.
  9. Jérôme Trotignon, 2012. "Les émissions de CO2 du Brésil- L’impact du secteur UTCATF (usage des terres, changement d’affectation des terres et foresterie)," Working Papers 1232, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Université Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Supérieure.
  10. Jorge Hargrave & Krisztina Kis-Katos, 2013. "Economic Causes of Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: A Panel Data Analysis for the 2000s," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 54(4), pages 471-494, April.

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