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Links between economic liberalization and rural resource degradation in the developing regions


  • Barbier, Edward B.


This paper examines evidence of the effects of economic liberalization and globalization on rural resource degradation in developing countries. The principal resource effects of concern are processes of land use change leading to forestland conversion, degradation and deforestation. The main trends in globalization of interest are trade liberalization and economy-wide reforms in developing countries that have 'opened up' the agroindustrial sectors, thus increasing their export -orientation. Such reforms have clearly spurred agroindustrialization, rural development and economic growth, but there is also concern that there may be direct and indirect impacts on rural resource degradation. The direct impacts may occur as increased agricultural activity leads to conversion of forests and increased land degradation from 'unsustainable' production methods. However, there may also be indirect effects if agroindustrial development displaces landless, near-landless and rural poor generally, who then migrate to marginal agricultural lands and forest frontier regions. This paper explores these direct and indirect effects of globalization and agroindustrialization on rural resource degradation both generally, plus through examining case study evidence. The paper focuses in particular on the examples of structural adjustment, trade liberalization and agricultural development in Ghana, and maize sector liberalization in Mexico under North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). © 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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  • Barbier, Edward B., 2000. "Links between economic liberalization and rural resource degradation in the developing regions," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 299-310, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:agecon:v:23:y:2000:i:3:p:299-310

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kirchner, Mathias & Schmid, Erwin, 2012. "How Do Agricultural Trade Policies Affect The Regional Environment? An Integrated Analysis For The Austrian Marchfeld Region," 52nd Annual Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-28, 2012 137160, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    2. Alder Keleman, 2010. "Institutional support and in situ conservation in Mexico: biases against small-scale maize farmers in post-NAFTA agricultural policy," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 27(1), pages 13-28, March.
    3. Vitale, Jeffrey D. & Lee, John G., 2005. "Land Degradation in the Sahel: An Application of Biophysical Modeling in the Optimal Control Setting," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19494, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Shimamoto, Mihoko & Ubukata, Fumikazu & Seki, Yoshiki, 2004. "Forest sustainability and the free trade of forest products: cases from Southeast Asia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1-2), pages 23-34, September.
    5. Winslow D. Hanse & Helen T. Naughton, 2013. "Social and Ecological Determinants of Land Clearing in the Brazilian Amazon: A Spatial Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 89(4), pages 699-721.
    6. Rudel, Thomas K., 2006. "After the labor migrants leave: The search for sustainable development in a sending region of the Ecuadorian Amazon," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 838-851, May.
    7. Faria, Weslem Rodrigues & Almeida, Alexandre Nunes, 2016. "Relationship between openness to trade and deforestation: Empirical evidence from the Brazilian Amazon," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 85-97.
    8. Gregor Schwerhoff & Johanna Wehkamp, 2017. "Export Tariffs Combined with Public Investments as a Forest Conservation Policy Instrument," Working Papers 2017.20, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    9. David Wheeler, Dan Hammer, Robin Kraft, 2011. " From REDD to Green: A Global Incentive System to Stop Tropical Forest Clearing- Working Paper 282," Working Papers 282, Center for Global Development.
    10. Nemet Alibejov & Stephan Krische & Justus Wesseler, 2001. "Agro-Ecological Zones and their Impact on Farm Production and Farm Organization after Privatization in Azerbaijan," Development and Comp Systems 0105001, EconWPA.
    11. Demeke, Bayou, 2004. "Is Globalization Bad For The Environment? International Trade And Land Degradation In Developing Countries:The Case Of Small Open Economy," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20376, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    12. Reardon, Thomas & Barrett, Christopher B., 2000. "Agroindustrialization, globalization, and international development An overview of issues, patterns, and determinants," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 23(3), September.
    13. ERREYGERS, Guido & FEREDE, Tadele, 2009. "The end of subsistence farming: Growth dynamics and investments in human and environmental capital in rural Ethiopia," Working Papers 2009008, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
    14. Philippe Delacote, 2008. "The Safety-net Use of Non Timber Forest Products," Working Papers - Cahiers du LEF 2008-04, Laboratoire d'Economie Forestiere, AgroParisTech-INRA.
    15. Yoshito Takasaki & Oliver T. Coomes & Christian Abizaid & Stéphanie Brisson, 2014. "An Efficient Nonmarket Institution under Imperfect Markets: Labor Sharing for Tropical Forest Clearing," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 96(3), pages 711-732.
    16. Bridget, Bwalya Umar, 2012. "Reversing Agro-Based Land Degradation through Conservation Agriculture: Emerging Experiences from Zambia’s Smallholder Farming Sector," Sustainable Agriculture Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 1(2).
    17. J.N. Callow & Julian Clifton, 2011. "Globalised Agriculture, Development and the Environment," Chapters,in: Globalisation, Agriculture and Development, chapter 12 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    18. Yoshito Takasaki, 2011. "Economic models of shifting cultivation: a review," Tsukuba Economics Working Papers 2011-006, Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba.

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