Insécurité foncière et déforestation dans l'Amazonie brésilienne
We study the determinants of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. A particular attention is paid to the effects of tenure insecurity generated by poorly defined property rights. Tenure insecurity has a theoretical ambiguous effect on deforestation. On the one hand, it reduces agricultural profitability and thus discourages forest clearing that is considered as an agricultural investment. On the other hand, the Brazilian legislation grants property rights to squatters who make a beneficial use of land and thus encourages land owners and squatters to clear “unproductive” i.e. forested lands. Livestock activities also contribute to deforestation as they are less exposed than agricultural activities to tenure insecurity. The econometric approach of the effect of tenure insecurity on the Amazonian deforestation relies on a panel where temporal and individual heterogeneity are controlled for. Tenure insecurity that is measured by the number of rural murders is shown to have an unambiguous positive and significant effect on deforestation.
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