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Legal origin, colonial origin and deforestation

  • Sébastien Marchand

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I)

This paper investigates whether inherited legacies such as legal origin allow of explaining deforestation in 110 developed and developing countries. The hypothesis is that differences in deforestation between countries can be attributed to their legal systems. Also, since nearly all common law countries are former English colonies, and nearly all civil law countries were colonized by France, Spain or Portugal, legal origin and colonial history are strongly correlated, so that one can not attribute all the variance to the effect of the legal system. What is found overall is that (i) French civil law countries deforest less than English common law ones within the total sample, within the sample of colonized countries, and within the sample of tropical developing countries; (ii) Former French colonies deforest less than former English colonies. These results hold when geography features are controlled for since the process of colonization was not random and depended on initial geographic and climatic conditions.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00607812.

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Date of creation: 11 Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00607812
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