An Econometric Analysis Of Factors Affecting Tropical And Subtropical Deforestation
In most developing countries deforestation has reached alarming rates. In view of their relevance for the local economy (e.g., as a source of foreign exchange earnings and supply of fuelwood), an adequate management of forest resources should be pursued. In these economies forest exploitation and land conversion have often been seen as a temporary solution to structural problems. In this way, however, the same problems are even aggravated in the long run. The study first reviews recent explanations of tropical deforestation: a distinction is drawn between areas of substantial agreement on the one hand, and discordant results and interpretations on the other. In the main part of the analysis, based on cross-country data for the 1980s, regression models incorporating different sets of determinants of deforestation are applied. Compared to previous studies, the analysis tries to better account for the sequential timing of some of these determinants. Different patterns are identified among country groups, according to specific features of economic activities, macroeconomic and political environments, and climatic conditions.
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