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Modelling Land Use, Deforestation, and Policy: A Hybrid Optimisation-Heterogeneous Agent Model with Application to the Bolivian Amazon

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  • Andersen, Lykke E.
  • Groom, Ben
  • Killick, Evan
  • Ledezma, Juan Carlos
  • Palmer, Charles
  • Weinhold, Diana

Abstract

We introduce a hybrid simulation model (‘SimPachamama’) designed to explore the complex socio-environmental trade-offs of alternative policy bundles and policy sequencing options for stemming deforestation and reducing poverty in tropical countries. Designed and calibrated to the initial conditions of a small forest village in rural Bolivia, the model consists of: (a) an optimising agricultural household module of heterogeneous agents that make individually optimal land-use decisions based on factor endowments and market conditions; (b) an encompassing general equilibrium ‘shell’ module that endogenously determines wages and links the agricultural labour market and rural-urban migration rates; and (c) a novel user-controlled policy-maker module that allows the user to make ‘real time’ choices over a variety of public and environmental policies that in turn impact land use, welfare, and migration. Over a 20-year simulation period the results highlight trade-offs between reductions in deforestation and improvements in household welfare that can only be overcome either when international REDD payments are offered or when decentralized deforestation taxes are implemented. The sequencing of policies plays a critical role in the determination of these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Andersen, Lykke E. & Groom, Ben & Killick, Evan & Ledezma, Juan Carlos & Palmer, Charles & Weinhold, Diana, 2017. "Modelling Land Use, Deforestation, and Policy: A Hybrid Optimisation-Heterogeneous Agent Model with Application to the Bolivian Amazon," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 76-90.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:135:y:2017:i:c:p:76-90
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2016.12.033
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    1. Beatriz Muriel & Luis Carlos Jemio, 2010. "Mercado laboral y reformas en Bolivia," Capítulos de Libros PUCP / Chapters of PUCP books,in: José Rodríguez & Albert Berry (ed.), Desafíos laborales en América Latina después de dos décadas de reformas estructurales. Bolivia, Paraguay y Perú 1997-2008, edition 1, chapter 5, pages 273-356 Fondo Editorial - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
    2. Shively, Gerald & Pagiola, Stefano, 2004. "Agricultural intensification, local labor markets, and deforestation in the Philippines," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 241-266, May.
    3. Lykke Andersen & Jonah Busch & Elizabeth Curran & Juan Carlos Ledezma & Joaquín Mayorga & Mélissa Bellier, 2012. "Environmental and socio-economic consequences of forest carbon payments in Bolivia: Results of the OSIRIS-Bolivia model," Development Research Working Paper Series 02/2012, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
    4. Paul J. Ferraro & R. David Simpson, 2002. "The Cost-Effectiveness of Conservation Payments," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(3), pages 339-353.
    5. Ollivier, Hélène, 2012. "Growth, deforestation and the efficiency of the REDD mechanism," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 312-327.
    6. Groom, Ben & Palmer, Charles, 2014. "Relaxing constraints as a conservation policy," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(04), pages 505-528, August.
    7. Jennifer Alix-Garcia & Craig McIntosh & Katharine R. E. Sims & Jarrod R. Welch, 2013. "The Ecological Footprint of Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Mexico's Oportunidades Program," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 417-435, May.
    8. Laing, Timothy & Palmer, Charles, 2015. "Economy-wide impacts of REDD when there is political influence," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 107-126.
    9. Andrade de Sá, Saraly & Palmer, Charles & di Falco, Salvatore, 2013. "Dynamics of indirect land-use change: Empirical evidence from Brazil," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 377-393.
    10. Kathrin Happe & Hauke Schnicke & Christoph Sahrbacher & Konrad Kellermann, 2009. "Will They Stay or Will They Go? Simulating the Dynamics of Single-Holder Farms in a Dualistic Farm Structure in Slovakia," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(4), pages 497-511, December.
    11. Nicholas Stern, 2008. "The Economics of Climate Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 1-37, May.
    12. Groom, Ben & Palmer, Charles, 2010. "Cost-effective provision of environmental services: the role of relaxing market constraints," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 219-240, April.
    13. Unai Pascual & Edward B. Barbier, 2007. "On Price Liberalization, Poverty, and Shifting Cultivation: An Example from Mexico," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(2), pages 192-216.
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    Keywords

    Simulation; Bolivia; Deforestation; Land use; Policy; REDD;

    JEL classification:

    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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