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Does Economic Development Lead to Mangrove Loss? A Cross-Country Analysis

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  • Edward B. Barbier
  • Mark Cox

Abstract

Mangroves line one quarter of the world's tropical coastlines, and approximately 117 countries and territories have mangrove resources within their borders. Although over recent years mangrove deforestation has occurred at a phenomenal rate worldwide, there have been few economic studies of the underlying causes. The article attempts such an analysis and particularly examines the role of economic development, with specific reference to those activities that may result in mangrove deforestation, in determining the area of mangrove left within a country. The article develops a model of economic activity and mangrove conversion. From this model, a relationship is established between remaining mangrove area, economic activity, and other important causative factors. The mangrove area relationship is estimated empirically for a cross-section of 89 countries. Results show that shrimp aquaculture and agriculture are significantly associated with mangrove loss across all countries, whereas the higher the level of GDP per capita the more mangrove area remains. The number of protected areas, length of coastline and political stability were also important in determining the remaining mangrove area of a country. (JEL "O13", "Q22", "Q23", "Q24") Copyright 2003 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward B. Barbier & Mark Cox, 2003. "Does Economic Development Lead to Mangrove Loss? A Cross-Country Analysis," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(4), pages 418-432, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:21:y:2003:i:4:p:418-432
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jack Ruitenbeek, H., 1994. "Modelling economy-ecology linkages in mangroves: Economic evidence for promoting conservation in Bintuni Bay, Indonesia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 233-247, August.
    2. Robert T. Deacon, 1994. "Deforestation and the Rule of Law in a Cross-Section of Countries," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(4), pages 414-430.
    3. Edward Barbier & Ivar Strand, 1998. "Valuing Mangrove-Fishery Linkages – A Case Study of Campeche, Mexico," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(2), pages 151-166, September.
    4. Alston, Lee J. & Libecap, Gary D. & Mueller, Bernardo, 2000. "Land Reform Policies, the Sources of Violent Conflict, and Implications for Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 162-188, March.
    5. Barbier, E B & Burgess, J C, 2001. " The Economics of Tropical Deforestation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 413-433, July.
    6. Edward B. Barbier, 2003. "Habitat-Fishery Linkages And Mangrove Loss In Thailand," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 59-77, January.
    7. S Sathirathai & EB Barbier, 2001. "Valuing Mangrove Conservation In Southern Thailand," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 109-122, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. John Lynham, 2012. "Ecomarkets For Conservation And Sustainable Development in the Coastal Zone," Working Papers 201218, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    2. Hatanaka, Maki, 2014. "Standardized food governance? Reflections on the potential and limitations of chemical-free shrimp," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 138-145.
    3. Pushpam Kumar, 2012. "Impact of economic drivers on mangroves of Indian Sundarbans: an exploration of missing links," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 14(6), pages 939-953, December.
    4. Hatanaka, Maki, 2010. "Certification, Partnership, and Morality in an Organic Shrimp Network: Rethinking Transnational Alternative Agrifood Networks," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 706-716, May.
    5. Barbier, Edward B., 2008. "In the wake of tsunami: Lessons learned from the household decision to replant mangroves in Thailand," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 229-249, May.
    6. Edward B. Barbier, 2007. "Valuing ecosystem services as productive inputs," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 22, pages 177-229, January.
    7. Alam, Khorshed, 2005. "Valuing the environment in developing countries: Problems and potentials," 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia 137741, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Barbier,Edward B., 2015. "Climate change impacts on rural poverty in low-elevation coastal zones," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7475, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q22 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Fishery
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land

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