Deforestation, Property Rights, and International Trade
Deforestation primarily affects developing countries. Most developing countries share two characteristics: (1) trade liberalization reforms in the last two decades, and (2) weak property rights and limited rule of law. This paper investigates this second-best world; first, in a stylized model in which trade distortions are eliminated in an economy whose natural resources are subject to open access; second, empirically in an estimation exercise that disentangles the direct effect of trade on deforestation rates and an indirect effect through its interaction with ownership security. In accordance with the theory, the results show that only the indirect effect is significant.
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