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The Ecological Footprint of Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Mexico's Oportunidades Program

Author

Listed:
  • Jennifer Alix-Garcia

    (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

  • Craig McIntosh

    (University of California, San Diego)

  • Katharine R. E. Sims

    (Amherst College)

  • Jarrod R. Welch

    (University of California, San Diego)

Abstract

We study the consequences of poverty-alleviation programs for environmental degradation. We exploit the community-level eligibility discontinuity for a conditional cash transfer program in Mexico to identify the impacts of income increases on deforestation and use the program's initial randomized rollout to explore household responses. We find that additional income raises consumption of land-intensive goods and increases deforestation. The observed production response and deforestation increase are larger in communities with poor road infrastructure. This suggests that better access to markets disperses environmental harm and that the full effects of poverty alleviation on the environment can be observed only where poor infrastructure localizes them. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:2:p:417-435
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:forpol:v:84:y:2017:i:c:p:102-111 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. 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.
    3. repec:eee:jeeman:v:86:y:2017:i:c:p:8-28 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:taf:oxdevs:v:47:y:2019:i:2:p:222-237 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Jean-Marie Baland & François Libois & Dilip Mookherjee, 2018. "Forest Degradation and Economic Growth in Nepal, 2003–2010," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 401-439.
    6. Seema Jayachandran & Joost de Laat & Eric F. Lambin & Charlotte Y. Stanton, 2016. "Cash for Carbon: A Randomized Controlled Trial of Payments for Ecosystem Services to Reduce Deforestation," NBER Working Papers 22378, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Kate Ambler & Alan de Brauw & Susan Godlonton, 2018. "Rural Labor Market Responses to Large Lumpy Cash Transfers: Evidence from Malawi," Department of Economics Working Papers 2018-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    8. repec:eee:enepol:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:663-672 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. López-Feldman, Alejandro & Chávez, Estefanía, 2017. "Remittances and Natural Resource Extraction: Evidence from Mexico," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 69-79.
    10. Chakravarty, Shourish & Mullally, Conner C., 2018. "Impact of NREGS on Forest Cover," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274250, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Man Li & Alessandro Pinto & John M. Ulimwengu & Liangzhi You & Richard D. Robertson, 2015. "Impacts of Road Expansion on Deforestation and Biological Carbon Loss in the Democratic Republic of Congo," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 60(3), pages 433-469, March.
    12. Michael Greenstone & B. Kelsey Jack, 2013. "Envirodevonomics: A Research Agenda for a Young Field," NBER Working Papers 19426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. repec:kap:enreec:v:72:y:2019:i:3:d:10.1007_s10640-018-0224-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Chakravarty, Shourish & Mullally, Conner, 2018. "Impact of NREGS on Forest Cover," 2018 Annual Meeting, February 2-6, 2018, Jacksonville, Florida 266696, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    15. Sarah Baird & Aislinn Bohren & Craig McIntosh & Berk Ozler, 2017. "Optimal Design of Experiments in the Presence of Interference*, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 16-025, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 30 Nov 2017.
    16. Independent Evaluation Group, 2014. "Social Safety Nets and Gender : Learning from Impact Evaluations and World Bank Projects," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21365.
    17. Justin Whetten & Matías Fontenla & Kira Villa, 2019. "Opportunities for higher education: the ten-year effects of conditional cash transfers on upper-secondary and tertiary enrollments," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 47(2), pages 222-237, April.
    18. repec:eee:jeeman:v:86:y:2017:i:c:p:1-7 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    environmental regulation; environment and development; poverty; land-use; deforestation;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • 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

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