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The Structure of an Environmental Transaction: The Debt-for-Nature Swap

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  • Robert T. Deacon
  • Paul Murphy

Abstract

The structure and occurrence of debt-for-nature swaps are examined empirically. Contracts executing debt-for-nature swaps are studied to assess the role of transaction costs in determining how these agreements are structured. The emerging contract form is a product of weak enforcement of legal claims to environmental resources in developing countries, high costs for delineating and monitoring environmental outcomes, and nominal government ownership of the resources involved. The occurrence of swaps in individual countries is significantly related to host country attributes, including the presence of tropical land and threatened species, democratic political institutions, and large debt burdens.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert T. Deacon & Paul Murphy, 1997. "The Structure of an Environmental Transaction: The Debt-for-Nature Swap," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(1), pages 1-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:73:y:1997:i:1:p:1-24
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    1. repec:leo:wpaper:1824 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Mouez Fodha & Thomas Seegmuller, 2014. "Environmental Quality, Public Debt and Economic Development," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 57(4), pages 487-504, April.
    3. Chambers, Paul E. & Jensen, Richard A., 2002. "Transboundary Air Pollution, Environmental Aid, and Political Uncertainty," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 93-112, January.
    4. Cubbage, Frederick & Harou, Patrice & Sills, Erin, 2007. "Policy instruments to enhance multi-functional forest management," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(7), pages 833-851, April.
    5. Torras, Mariano, 2003. "An Ecological Footprint Approach to External Debt Relief," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 2161-2171, December.
    6. Blackman, Allen & Nelson, Per-Kristian & Mathis, Mitchell, 2001. "The Greening of Development Economics: A Survey," Discussion Papers dp-01-08, Resources For the Future.
    7. Deacon, Robert & Mueller, Bernardo, 2004. "Political Economy and Natural Resource Use," University of California at Santa Barbara, Economics Working Paper Series qt68g1n1v8, Department of Economics, UC Santa Barbara.
    8. Stranlund, John K., 1999. "Bargaining to preserve a unique ecosystem: the role of anticipatory investments to establish stronger bargaining positions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 425-437, December.

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