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Roads & SDGs, tradeoffs and synergies: Learning from Brazil's Amazon in distinguishing frontiers

Author

Listed:
  • Pfaff, Alexander S. P.
  • Robalino, Juan
  • Reis, Eustaquio J.
  • Walker, Robert
  • Perz, Stephen
  • Laurance, William
  • Bohrer, Claudio
  • Aldrich, Steven
  • Arima, Eugenio
  • Caldas, Marcellus
  • Kirby, Kathryn R.

Abstract

To reduce SDG tradeoffs in infrastructure provision, and to inform searches for SDG synergies, the authors show that roads' impacts on Brazilian Amazon forests varied significantly across frontiers. Impacts varied predictably with prior development - prior roads and prior deforestation - and, further, in a pattern that suggests a potential synergy for roads between forests and urban growth. For multiple periods of roads investments, the authors estimate forest impacts for high, medium and low prior roads and deforestation. For each setting, census-tract observations are numerous. Results confirm predictions for this kind of frontier of a pattern not consistent with endogeneity, i.e., short-run forest impacts of new roads are: small for relatively high prior development; larger for medium prior development; and small for low prior development (for the latter setting, impacts in such isolated areas could rise over time, depending on interactions with conservation policies). These Amazonian results suggest 'SDG strategic' locations for infrastructure, an idea the authors note for other frontiers while highlighting major differences across frontiers and their SDG opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Pfaff, Alexander S. P. & Robalino, Juan & Reis, Eustaquio J. & Walker, Robert & Perz, Stephen & Laurance, William & Bohrer, Claudio & Aldrich, Steven & Arima, Eugenio & Caldas, Marcellus & Kirby, Kath, 2018. "Roads & SDGs, tradeoffs and synergies: Learning from Brazil's Amazon in distinguishing frontiers," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 12, pages 1-26.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201811
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2018-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert T. Deacon, 1994. "Deforestation and the Rule of Law in a Cross-Section of Countries," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(4), pages 414-430.
    2. Bell, Clive & van Dillen, Susanne, 2012. "How does India's rural roads program affect the grassroots ? findings from a survey in Orissa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6167, The World Bank.
    3. Shahidur R. Khandker & Zaid Bakht & Gayatri B. Koolwal, 2009. "The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 685-722, July.
    4. Andersen,Lykke E. & Granger,Clive W. J. & Reis,Eustaquio J. & Weinhold,Diana & Wunder,Sven, 2002. "The Dynamics of Deforestation and Economic Growth in the Brazilian Amazon," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521811972.
    5. Angelsen, Arild & Kaimowitz, David, 1999. "Rethinking the Causes of Deforestation: Lessons from Economic Models," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, February.
    6. Gibson, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2003. "Poverty and Access to Roads in Papua New Guinea," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 159-185, October.
    7. Southgate, Douglas & Sierra, Rodrigo & Brown, Lawrence, 1991. "The causes of tropical deforestation in Ecuador: A statistical analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 1145-1151, September.
    8. Maureen Cropper & Jyotsna Puri & Charles Griffiths, 2001. "Predicting the Location of Deforestation: The Role of Roads and Protected Areas in North Thailand," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(2), pages 172-186.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deforestation; roads; infrastructure; climate change; biodiversity; Brazil; Amazon;

    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
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • 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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