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Legal origin, colonial origin and deforestation

  • Sébastien Marchand

    (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - CNRS : UMR6587 - 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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  1. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2007. "The Economic Consequences of Legal Origins," NBER Working Papers 13608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Arcand, Jean-Louis & Guillaumont, Patrick & Jeanneney, Sylviane Guillaumont, 2008. "Deforestation and the real exchange rate," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 242-262, June.
  3. Djankov, Simeon & Caralee, McLiesh & Nenova, Tatiana & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "Who Owns the Media?," Scholarly Articles 3606236, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Working Paper 19443, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  5. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, . "The Quality of Government," Working Paper 19452, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  6. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Pop-Eleches, Cristian & Shleifer, Andrei, 2004. "Judicial Checks and Balances," Scholarly Articles 3451311, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Government Ownership of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 265-301, 02.
  8. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," NBER Working Papers 5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  10. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andre Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1904, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  11. Stanley L Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2002. "Factor Endowments, Inequality, and Paths of Development Among New World Economics," NBER Working Papers 9259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Juan Botero & Simeon Djankov & Rafael LaPorta & Florencio López-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, . "The Regulation of Labor," Working Paper 19483, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  13. Cropper, Maureen & Griffiths, Charles, 1994. "The Interaction of Population Growth and Environmental Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 250-54, May.
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  16. Lange, Matthew K., 2004. "British Colonial Legacies and Political Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 905-922, June.
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  18. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 2002. "Tropics, Germs, and Crops: How Endowments Influence Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Scrieciu, S. Serban, 2007. "Can economic causes of tropical deforestation be identified at a global level?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 603-612, May.
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