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The Ecological Footprint of Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Mexico's Oportunidades Program

  • Alix-Garcia, Jennifer M.

    (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

  • McIntosh, Craig

    (University of California, San Diego)

  • Sims, Katharine R. E.

    (Amherst College)

  • Welch, Jarrod R.

    (University of California, San Diego)

Registered author(s):

    We study the consequences of poverty alleviation programs for environmental degradation. We exploit the community-level eligibility discontinuity for a conditional cash transfer program in Mexico to identify the impacts of income increases on deforestation, and use the program’s initial randomized rollout to explore household responses. We find that additional income increases demand for resource-intensive goods. The corresponding production response and deforestation increase is more detectable in communities with poor road infrastructure. These results are consistent with the idea that better access to markets disperses environmental harm and the full effects of treatment can only be observed where poor infrastructure localizes them.

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    File URL: http://www.aae.wisc.edu/pubs/sps/pdf/stpap549.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics in its series Staff Paper Series with number 549.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:wisagr:549
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    Web page: http://www.aae.wisc.edu/pubs/sps/
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    2. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol Hua, 2008. "Tariffs, Trains, and Trade: The Role of Institutions versus Technology in the Expansion of Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 6759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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