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Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: Distinguishing behaviour from location

Author

Listed:
  • Suzi Kerr
  • Alexander Pfaff
  • Romina Cavatassi

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Benjamin Davis

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Leslie Lipper

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Arturo Sanchez
  • Jason Timmins

Abstract

We summarize existing theoretical claims linking poverty to rates of deforestation and then examine this linkage empirically for Costa Rica during the 20th century using an econometric approach that addresses the irreversibilities in deforestation. Our data facilitate an empirical analysis of the implications for deforestation of where the poor live. Without controlling for this, impacts of poverty per se are confounded by richer areas being different from the areas inhabited by the poor, who we expect to find on more marginal lands, for instance less profitable lands. Controlling for locations’ characteristics, we find that poorer areas are cleared more rapidly. This result suggests that poverty reduction aids forest conservation.

Suggested Citation

  • Suzi Kerr & Alexander Pfaff & Romina Cavatassi & Benjamin Davis & Leslie Lipper & Arturo Sanchez & Jason Timmins, 2004. "Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: Distinguishing behaviour from location," Working Papers 04-19, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  • Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0419
    as

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    File URL: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/007/ae401e/ae401e00.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pfaff, Alexander S. P., 1999. "What Drives Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?: Evidence from Satellite and Socioeconomic Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 26-43, January.
    2. Angelsen, Arild, 1999. "Agricultural expansion and deforestation: modelling the impact of population, market forces and property rights," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 185-218, February.
    3. Reardon, Thomas & Vosti, Stephen A., 1995. "Links between rural poverty and the environment in developing countries: Asset categories and investment poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1495-1506, September.
    4. Angelsen, Arild & Kaimowitz, David, 1999. "Rethinking the Causes of Deforestation: Lessons from Economic Models," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, February.
    5. Wunder, Sven, 2001. "Poverty Alleviation and Tropical Forests--What Scope for Synergies?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1817-1833, November.
    6. Anderson, Terry L & Hill, Peter J, 1990. "The Race for Property Rights," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 177-197, April.
    7. Mendelsohn, Robert, 1994. "Property Rights and Tropical Deforestation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(0), pages 750-756, Supplemen.
    8. Stavins, Robert N & Jaffe, Adam B, 1990. "Unintended Impacts of Public Investments on Private Decisions: The Depletion of Forested Wetlands," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 337-352, June.
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    1. Somin and Lambert on the responsible use of the precautionary principle
      by lkiesling in knowledge problem on 2009-12-12 21:39:41
    2. Climate Change and the Non-Sensical Precautionary Principle
      by Thom Lambert in Truth on the Market on 2009-12-11 22:31:06

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    Cited by:

    1. Suzi Kerr & Leslie Lipper & Alexander S.P. Pfaff & Romina Cavatassi & Benjamin Davis & Joanna Hendy & Arturo Sanchez, 2004. "Will Buying Tropical Forest Carbon Benefit The Poor? Evidence from Costa Rica," Working Papers 04-20, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
    2. Suzi Kerr & Simon Anastasiadis & Alex Olssen & William Power & Levente Tímár & Wei Zhang, 2012. "Spatial and Temporal Responses to an Emissions Trading System Covering Agriculture and Forestry: Simulation Results from New Zealand," Working Papers 12_10, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    3. Reetz, Sunny W.H. & Schwarze, Stefan & Brümmer, Bernhard, 2012. "Poverty and Tropical Deforestation by Smallholders in Forest Margin Areas: Evidence from Central Sulawesi, Indonesia," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126326, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate; Climate observations; Costa Rica; Deforestation; Forest management; Nature conservation; Poverty;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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