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The Effects of Land Use Regulation on Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

Author

Listed:
  • Liana O Anderson
  • Samantha De Martino
  • Torfinn Harding
  • Karlygash Kuralbayeva
  • Andre Lima

Abstract

To reduce deforestation rates in the Amazon, Brazil established in the period 2004-2010 conservation zones covering an area 1.5 times the size of Germany. In the same period, Brazil experienced a large reduction in deforestation rates. By combining satellite data on deforestation with data on the location and timing of the conservation zones, we provide spatial regression discontinuity estimates and difference-in-difference estimates indicating that the policy cannot explain the large reduction in deforestation rates. The reason is that the zones are located in areas where agricultural production is likely to be unprofitable. We also provide evidence that zones reduce deforestation if the incentives for municipalities to reduce deforestation are high. We rationalize these finding with a spatial economics model of land use, with endogenous location of conservation zones and imperfect enforcement. Our findings point to the need for other explanations than the conservation zones to explain the sharp decline in deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon since 2004.

Suggested Citation

  • Liana O Anderson & Samantha De Martino & Torfinn Harding & Karlygash Kuralbayeva & Andre Lima, 2016. "The Effects of Land Use Regulation on Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon," OxCarre Working Papers 172, Oxford Centre for the Analysis of Resource Rich Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:oxcrwp:172
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    File URL: https://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/materials/OxCarre/ResearchPapers/oxcarrerp2016172.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Thiemo Fetzer & Samuel Marden, 2017. "Take What You Can: Property Rights, Contestability and Conflict," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(601), pages 757-783, May.
    2. Julika Herzberg, 2019. "Protection and Profit: Empirical Evidence of Governmental and Market-based Forest Policies," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201901, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    regulation; conservation policies; deforestation; Brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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