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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
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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. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    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

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate; Climate observations; Costa Rica; Deforestation; Forest management; Nature conservation; Poverty;

    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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