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Legal origin, colonial origin and deforestation

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  • Sébastien Marchand

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

Abstract

This paper investigates whether inherited legacies such as legal origin allow of explaining deforestation in 110 developed and developing countries. The hypothesis is that differences in deforestation between countries can be attributed to their legal systems. Also, since nearly all common law countries are former English colonies, and nearly all civil law countries were colonized by France, Spain or Portugal, legal origin and colonial history are strongly correlated, so that one can not attribute all the variance to the effect of the legal system. What is found overall is that (i) French civil law countries deforest less than English common law ones within the total sample, within the sample of colonized countries, and within the sample of tropical developing countries; (ii) Former French colonies deforest less than former English colonies. These results hold when geography features are controlled for since the process of colonization was not random and depended on initial geographic and climatic conditions.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00607812.

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Date of creation: 11 Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00607812

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Keywords: Deforestation; Colonial legacies; Legal origin;

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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Legal Origins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1193-1229, November.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Government Ownership of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 265-301, 02.
  3. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & López-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," CEPR Discussion Papers 2953, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Djankov, Simeon & Caralee, McLiesh & Nenova, Tatiana & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "Who Owns the Media?," Scholarly Articles 3606236, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  13. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Pop-Eleches, Cristian & Shleifer, Andrei, 2004. "Judicial Checks and Balances," Scholarly Articles 3451311, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. Lange, Matthew K., 2004. "British Colonial Legacies and Political Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 905-922, June.
  16. Cropper, Maureen & Griffiths, Charles, 1994. "The Interaction of Population Growth and Environmental Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 250-54, May.
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  19. Engerman, Stanley L., 2003. "Comment on: Tropics, germs and crops: How endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 41-47, January.
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