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A Tale of Two Communities: Explaining Deforestation in Mexico

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  • Alix-Garcia, Jennifer
  • Janvry, Alain de
  • Sadoulet, Elisabeth

Abstract

Explaining land use change in Mexico requires understanding the behavior of the local institutions involved. We develop two theories to explain deforestation in communities with and without forestry projects, where the former involves a process of side payments to non-members of the community and the latter of partial cooperation among community members. Data collected in 2002 combined with satellite imagery are used to test these theories. For the forestry villages, we establish a positive relationship between the distribution of profits as dividends instead of public goods and forest loss. For communities not engaged in forestry projects, deforestation is largely related to the ability of the community to induce the formation of a coalition of members that cooperates in not encroaching. This happens more easily in smaller communities with experienced leaders. A disturbing result of the analysis is that deforestation is higher when a community engages in forestry projects, even after properly accounting for self-selection into this activity. This suggests that forestry projects as they now exist in Mexico are not sustainable and contribute to the deforestation problem.
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  • Alix-Garcia, Jennifer & Janvry, Alain de & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2005. "A Tale of Two Communities: Explaining Deforestation in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 219-235, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:33:y:2005:i:2:p:219-235
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    Cited by:

    1. Pascale COMBES MOTEL & Jean-Louis COMBES & Catherine ARAUJO BONJEAN & Claudio ARAUJO & Eustaquio J. REIS, 2010. "Does Land Tenure Insecurity Drive Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?," Working Papers 201013, CERDI.
    2. Corbera, Esteve & Soberanis, Carmen González & Brown, Katrina, 2009. "Institutional dimensions of Payments for Ecosystem Services: An analysis of Mexico's carbon forestry programme," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 743-761, January.
    3. Kerr, John & Vardhan, Mamta & Jindal, Rohit, 2012. "Prosocial behavior and incentives: Evidence from field experiments in rural Mexico and Tanzania," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 220-227.
    4. Klemick, Heather, 2011. "Constraints or Cooperation? Determinants of Secondary Forest Cover Under Shifting Cultivation," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 40(3), December.
    5. Yanez-Pagans, Patricia, 2013. "Cash for Cooperation? Payments for Ecosystem Services and Common Property Management in Mexico," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151295, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Alix-Garcia, Jennifer, 2008. "An exploration of the positive effect of inequality on common property forests," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 92-105, August.
    7. Jennifer M. Alix-Garcia & Elizabeth N. Shapiro & Katharine R. E. Sims, 2012. "Forest Conservation and Slippage: Evidence from Mexico’s National Payments for Ecosystem Services Program," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 88(4), pages 613-638.
    8. Juan Manuel Torres Rojo & David B. Bray & Octavio S. Magaña, 2008. "The Role of Scale in Mexican Community Forest Management," Working papers DTE 451, CIDE, División de Economía.
    9. Ina, Porras & Bruce, Alyward & Jeff, Dengel, 2013. "Monitoring payments for watershed services schemes in developing countries," MPRA Paper 47185, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Kamanga, Penjani & Vedeld, Paul & Sjaastad, Espen, 2009. "Forest incomes and rural livelihoods in Chiradzulu District, Malawi," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 613-624, January.
    11. Peña, Ximena & Vélez, María Alejandra & Cárdenas, Juan Camilo & Perdomo, Natalia & Matajira, Camilo, 2017. "Collective Property Leads to Household Investments: Lessons From Land Titling in Afro-Colombian Communities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 27-48.
    12. Ansink, Erik & Bouma, Jetske, 2013. "Effective support for community resource management," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 94-103.
    13. Alix-Garcia, Jennifer, 2007. "A spatial analysis of common property deforestation," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 141-157, March.
    14. Sébastien MARCHAND, 2010. "Technical Ef?ciency, Farm Size and Tropical Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazonian Forest," Working Papers 201012, CERDI.

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