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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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  1. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2001. "Legal Origins," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1920, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1788, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Djankov, Simeon & Caralee, McLiesh & Nenova, Tatiana & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "Who Owns the Media?," Scholarly Articles 3606236, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  7. 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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  9. Engerman, Stanley L., 2003. "Comment on: Tropics, germs and crops: How endowments influence economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 41-47, January.
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  14. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Juan Botero, 2003. "The Regulation of Labor," NBER Working Papers 9756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Lange, Matthew K., 2004. "British Colonial Legacies and Political Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 905-922, June.
  19. Roe, Mark J., 2007. "Juries and the political economy of legal origin," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 294-308, June.
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