Do property rights promote investment but cause deforestation? Quasi-experimental evidence from Nicaragua
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.
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.
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.:
- 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.
- Jacoby, Hanan G. & Li, Guo & Rozelle, Scott, 2002.
"Hazards Of Expropriation:Tenure Insecurity And Investment In Rural China,"
11960, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
- Hanan G. Jacoby & Guo Li & Scott Rozelle, 2002. "Hazards of Expropriation: Tenure Insecurity and Investment in Rural China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1420-1447, December.
- 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.
- Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
- Bohn, Henning & Deacon, Robert, 1997.
"Ownership Risk, Investment, and the Use of Natural Resources,"
dp-97-20, Resources For the Future.
- Robert T. Deacon & Henning Bohn, 2000. "Ownership Risk, Investment, and the Use of Natural Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 526-549, June.
- Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2005.
"The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana,"
929, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
- 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.
- Lee J. Alston & Gary D. Libecap & Robert Schneider, 1996.
"The Determinants and Impact of Property Rights: Land Titles on the Brazilian Frontier,"
NBER Working Papers
5405, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- 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.
- Mendelsohn, Robert, 1994. "Property Rights and Tropical Deforestation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 750-56, Supplemen.
- 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.
- 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.
- Timothy Besley & Maitreesh Ghatak, 2009. "Property rights and economic development," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25428, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Besley, Timothy J. & Ghatak, Maitreesh, 2009. "Property Rights and Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 7243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- 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.
- Erica Field, 2007. "Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1561-1602.
- 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.
- Hornbeck, Richard A., 2010.
"Barbed Wire: Property Rights and Agricultural Development,"
11185832, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Richard Hornbeck, 2010. "Barbed Wire: Property Rights and Agricultural Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 767-810.
- Stanfield, J. David, 1995. "Insecurity Of Land Tenure In Nicaragua," Research Papers 12760, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Land Tenure Center.
- 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.
- 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.
- Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2003. "Economic Growth and the Rise of Forests," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 601-637.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.