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Does Land Tenure Insecurity Drive Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?

Author

Listed:
  • Pascale COMBES MOTEL

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Jean-Louis COMBES

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Catherine ARAUJO BONJEAN

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Claudio ARAUJO

    () (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International(CERDI))

  • Eustaquio J. REIS

    ()

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the detrimental impact of land tenure insecurity on deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. It is related to recent controversies about the detrimental impact of land laws on deforestation, which seem to legitimize land encroachments. The latter is mainly the result of land tenure insecurity which is a key characteristic of this region and results from a long history of interactions between rural social unrest and land reforms or land laws. A simple model is developed where strategic interactions between farmers lead to excessive deforestation. One of the empirical implications of the model is a positive relationship between land tenure insecurity and the extent of deforestation. The latter is tested on data from a panel of Brazilian Amazon municipalities. The negative effect of land tenure insecurity proxied by the number of squatters on deforestation is not rejected when estimations are controlled for the possible endogeneity of squatters. One of the main policy implications is that ex post legalizations of settlements must be accompanied by the enforcement of environmental obligations.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascale COMBES MOTEL & Jean-Louis COMBES & Catherine ARAUJO BONJEAN & Claudio ARAUJO & Eustaquio J. REIS, 2010. "Does Land Tenure Insecurity Drive Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?," Working Papers 201013, CERDI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1163
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Silva, Felipe & Fulginiti, Lilyan E. & Perrin, Richard K., 2016. "Did technical change in agricultural production decrease the emission of pollutants on the Amazon Forest during 1990-2009?," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 230092, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Silva, Felipe & Perrin, Richard K. & Fulginiti, Lilyan E., 2016. "Tradeoffs between forests and farming in the Legal Amazon Region of Brazil," 2016 Annual Meeting, February 6-9, 2016, San Antonio, Texas 230040, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Deforestation; Land tenure insecurity; Squatters; Panel Data Analysis; Brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry

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