IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Do property rights promote investment but cause deforestation? Quasi-experimental evidence from Nicaragua

  • Liscow, Zachary D.
Registered author(s):

    Many policymakers argue that property rights decrease deforestation. Some theoretical papers also make this prediction, arguing that property rights decrease discount rates applied to a long-term investment in forestry. However, the effect is theoretically ambiguous. The paper takes a novel instrumental variables approach based on Nicaragua's agrarian reform to test for the effect, using a new dataset—Nicaragua's 2001 agricultural census. It finds that property rights significantly increase deforestation. The model, supported by the data, suggests a likely mechanism for this relationship: property rights increase investment, increasing agricultural productivity and therefore the returns to deforestation.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0095069612000642
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

    Volume (Year): 65 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 241-261

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:65:y:2013:i:2:p:241-261
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622870

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as in new window
    1. Jacoby, Hanan G. & Li, Guo & Rozelle, Scott, 2002. "Hazards Of Expropriation:Tenure Insecurity And Investment In Rural China," Working Papers 11960, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    2. Stavins, Robert N & Jaffe, Adam B, 1990. "Unintended Impacts of Public Investments on Private Decisions: The Depletion of Forested Wetlands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 337-52, June.
    3. Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2009. "Property Rights and EconomicDevelopment," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 006, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    4. Oriana Bandiera, 2007. "Land Tenure, Investment Incentives, and the Choice of Techniques: Evidence from Nicaragua," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(3), pages 487-508, May.
    5. Godoy, R. & Kirby, K. & Wilkie, D., 2001. "Tenure security, private time preference, and use of natural resources among lowland Bolivian Amerindians," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 105-118, July.
    6. Mendelsohn, Robert, 1994. "Property Rights and Tropical Deforestation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 750-56, Supplemen.
    7. Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2003. "Economic Growth And The Rise Of Forests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 601-637, May.
    8. Erica Field, 2007. "Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1561-1602, November.
    9. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
    10. Farzin, Y Hossein, 1984. "The Effect of the Discount Rate on Depletion of Exhaustible Resources," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(5), pages 841-51, October.
    11. Bhattarai, Madhusudan & Hammig, Michael, 2001. "Institutions and the Environmental Kuznets Curve for Deforestation: A Crosscountry Analysis for Latin America, Africa and Asia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 995-1010, June.
    12. Barbier, E B & Burgess, J C, 2001. " The Economics of Tropical Deforestation," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(3), pages 413-33, July.
    13. Alston, Lee J & Libecap, Gary D & Schneider, Robert, 1996. "The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 25-61, April.
    14. Bohn, Henning & Deacon, Robert, 1997. "Ownership Risk, Investment, and the Use of Natural Resources," Discussion Papers dp-97-20, Resources For the Future.
    15. Pfaff, Alexander S. P., 1999. "What Drives Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?: Evidence from Satellite and Socioeconomic Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 26-43, January.
    16. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2008. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(6), pages 981-1022, December.
    18. 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.
    19. Hornbeck, Richard A., 2010. "Barbed Wire: Property Rights and Agricultural Development," Scholarly Articles 11185832, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    20. Deininger, Klaus & Chamorro, Juan Sebastian, 2004. "Investment and equity effects of land regularisation: the case of Nicaragua," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 101-116, March.
    21. Stanfield, J. David, 1995. "Insecurity Of Land Tenure In Nicaragua," Research Papers 12760, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jeeman:v:65:y:2013:i:2:p:241-261. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.