The Political Economy of Deforestation in the Tropics
Tropical deforestation accounts for almost one- fifth of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and threatens the worlds most diverse ecosystems. The prevalence of illegal forest extraction in the tropics suggests that understanding the incentives of local bureaucrats and politicians who enforce forest policy may be critical to combating tropical deforestation. We find support for this thesis using a novel satellite-based dataset that tracks annual changes in forest cover across eight years of institutional change in post-Soeharto Indonesia. Increases in the numbers of political jurisdictions are associated with increased deforestation and with lower prices in local wood markets, consistent with a model of Cournot competition between jurisdictions. We also show that illegal logging and rents from unevenly distributed oil and gas revenues are short run substitutes, but this effect disappears over time as political turnover occurs. The results illustrate how incentives faced by local government officials affect deforestation,and provide an example of how standard economic theories can explain illegal behavior.
|Date of creation:||Apr 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/default.asp|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2003.
"Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting,"
w0024, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
- Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1301-1338.
- Akhmed Akhmedov & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2004. "Opportunistic Political Cycles: Test in a Young Democracy Setting," Economics Working Papers 0047, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Alesina, Alberto, 1987. "Macroeconomic Policy in a Two-party System as a Repeated Game," Scholarly Articles 4552531, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Jean-Marie Baland & Pranab Bardhan & Sanghamitra Das & Dilip Mookherjee, 2008.
"Forests to the People: Decentralization and Forest Degradation in the Indian Himalayas,"
Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series
dp-169, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Baland, Jean-Marie & Bardhan, Pranab & Das, Sanghamitra & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2010. "Forests to the People: Decentralization and Forest Degradation in the Indian Himalayas," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1642-1656, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:stieop:037. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.