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Vyaghranomics in space and time : estimating habitat threats for Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan and Sumatran tigers

  • Dasgupta, Susmita
  • Hammer, Dan
  • Kraft, Robin
  • Wheeler, David

As the wild tiger population in tropical Asia dropped from about 100,000 to 3,500 in the last century, the need to conserve tiger habitats poses a challenge for the Global Tiger Recovery Program. This paper develops and uses a high-resolution monthly forest clearing database for 74 tiger habitat areas in ten countries to investigate habitat threats for Bengal, Indochinese, Malayan and Sumatran tigers. The econometric model links forest habitat loss and forest clearing to profitability calculations that are affected by market expectations, environmental conditions and evolving patterns of settlement, among others. It uses new spatial panel estimation methods that allow for temporal and spatial autocorrelation. The econometric results emphasize the role of short-run market variables, including the exchange rate, real interest rate and prices of agricultural products in forest clearing, with considerable variation in the estimated timing for response and impact elasticities across countries. The results highlight a critical message for the conservation policy community: Changes in world agricultural-product markets and national financial policies have significant, measurable effects on tropical forest clearing, with variable time lags and degrees of responsiveness across countries. Measuring these effects and pinpointing areas at risk can provide valuable guidance for policymakers, conservation managers, and donor institutions.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6212.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6212
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  1. Maureen Cropper & Jyotsna Puri & Charles Griffiths, 2001. "Predicting the Location of Deforestation: The Role of Roads and Protected Areas in North Thailand," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(2), pages 172-186.
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  3. 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.
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  7. Maureen Cropper & Charles Griffiths & Muthukumara Mani, 1999. "Roads, Population Pressures, and Deforestation in Thailand, 1976-1989," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 75(1), pages 58-73.
  8. Pfaff, Alexander S. P., 1999. "What Drives Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?: Evidence from Satellite and Socioeconomic Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 26-43, January.
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  10. Muhammad Zikri, 2009. "An Econometric Model for Deforestation in Indonesia," Working Papers in Economics and Development Studies (WoPEDS) 200903, Department of Economics, Padjadjaran University, revised Jul 2009.
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  12. San, Nu Nu & Löfgren, Hans & Robinson, Sherman, 2000. "Structural adjustment, agriculture, and deforestation in the Sumatera regional economy," TMD discussion papers 52, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. David M. Drukker & Hua Peng & Ingmar Prucha & Rafal Raciborski, 2013. "Creating and managing spatial-weighting matrices with the spmat command," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 13(2), pages 242-286, June.
  14. Luc Anselin, 2001. "Spatial Effects in Econometric Practice in Environmental and Resource Economics," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 705-710.
  15. Anselin, Luc, 2002. "Under the hood : Issues in the specification and interpretation of spatial regression models," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(3), pages 247-267, November.
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  17. Kelejian, Harry H & Prucha, Ingmar R, 1998. "A Generalized Spatial Two-Stage Least Squares Procedure for Estimating a Spatial Autoregressive Model with Autoregressive Disturbances," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 99-121, July.
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