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Economic Causes of Tropical Deforestation - A Global Empirical Application


  • Scrieciu, Silviu Serban


The paper investigates the complex system of causes affecting tropical deforestation at a worldwide level. There is no generally accepted theory in the deforestation literature to indicate which variables should be included in a model of deforestation at an aggregate global level. The paper begins, therefore, by presenting an analytical structure based on formal farm household economic modelling literature. The empirical findings derived from a global regression model tend to confirm the profit maximising market approach to deforestation, i.e. policy and structural variables at the macro-level that stimulate agricultural production provide farmers with incentives to deforest and expand their arable land areas. However, subsequent statistical tests suggest that the causes of tropical deforestation are difficult to identify and quantify at a global level, and that these should be analysed at a more disaggregated level.

Suggested Citation

  • Scrieciu, Silviu Serban, 2003. "Economic Causes of Tropical Deforestation - A Global Empirical Application," Development Economics and Public Policy Working Papers 30549, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:idpmde:30549

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary S. Fields, 2004. "Dualism In The Labor Market: A Perspective On The Lewis Model After Half A Century," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 72(6), pages 724-735, December.
    2. Lewis, W Arthur, 1979. "The Dual Economy Revisited," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 47(3), pages 211-229, September.
    3. Bourguignon, Francois & Morrisson, Christian, 1998. "Inequality and development: the role of dualism," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 233-257.
    4. Lewis, Arthur, 1980. "Autobiography," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1979-4, Nobel Prize Committee.
    5. Ranis, Gustav & Stewart, Frances, 1999. "V-Goods and the Role of the Urban Informal Sector in Development," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 259-288, January.
    6. Leeson, P F, 1979. "The Lewis Model and Development Theory," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 47(3), pages 196-210, September.
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    More about this item


    global tropical deforestation; farm household models; Environmental Economics and Policy; C23; Q23;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry


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