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Economic Growth, Development Policy and the Environment in the Philippines

  • Sisira Jayasuriya

In this paper we examine data on environmental quality and natural resource degradation in the Philippines, considering trends over time, and compare the Philippine case with those of its Asian regional neighbours. We briefly review theoretical links between environmental quality, resource depletion, and development strategies and outcomes using the scale, composition and technique effect framework. We discuss Philippine environmental outcomes in a general equilibrium framework. A review of historical evidence suggests that protectionist import substitution industrialisation (ISI) strategy, corrupt administrations and weak property rights combined to promote rapid deforestation and land degradation. ISI policies also imparted an urban bias to development and expanded certain pollution intensive industries. These, together with inadequate investments in urban infrastructure and weak regulatory regimes, worsened urban air and water pollution. On the other hand, the Green Revolution in lowland rice agriculture reduced food prices and weakened incentives for deforestation, but increased harmful pesticide use. We analyse the impact of trade liberalisation and rice and corn policies with the APEX applied general equilibrium model of the Philippine economy. Trade liberalisation may not be harmful, indeed it may even be helpful, for environmental protection, but is no substitute for effective environmental policies. Past experience and current trends indicate that a better future for the Philippine environment requires a combination of government action, community initiatives and institutional innovations.

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Paper provided by Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department in its series Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Staff Papers with number 430.

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Length: 51 pages
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Handle: RePEc:wop:wisaes:430
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  1. Pearson, K. R., 1988. "Automating the computation of solutions of large economic models," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 385-395, October.
  2. Leamer, Edward E, 1987. "Paths of Development in the Three-Factor, n-Good General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(5), pages 961-99, October.
  3. Coxhead, Ian A. & Jayasuriya, Sisira, 1994. "Trade and Tax Policy Reform and the Environment: The Economics of Soil Erosion in Developing Countries," 1994 Conference (38th), February 8-10, 1994, Wellington, New Zealand 148111, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  4. Gerald E. Shively, 2001. "Agricultural Change, Rural Labor Markets, and Forest Clearing: An Illustrative Case from the Philippines," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(2), pages 268-284.
  5. Robert E. Baldwin, 1975. "Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: Philippines," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bald75-1, December.
  6. Selden Thomas M. & Song Daqing, 1995. "Neoclassical Growth, the J Curve for Abatement, and the Inverted U Curve for Pollution," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 162-168, September.
  7. Bandara, Jayatilleke S. & Coxhead, Ian, 1999. "Can Trade Liberalization Have Environmental Benefits in Developing Country Agriculture? A Sri Lankan Case Study," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 349-374, May.
  8. Ian Coxhead & Sisira Jayasuriya, 1994. "Technical Change in Agriculture and Land Degradation in Developing Countries: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(1), pages 20-37.
  9. Copeland Brian R., 1994. "International Trade and the Environment: Policy Reform in a Polluted Small Open Economy," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 44-65, January.
  10. Hettige, Hemamala & Martin, Paul & Singh, Manjula & Wheeler,David R., 1995. "The industrial pollution projection system," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1431, The World Bank.
  11. Jayasuriya, S. K. & Shand, R. T., 1986. "Technical change and labor absorption in Asian agriculture: Some emerging trends," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 415-428, March.
  12. Kym Anderson & Peter G. Warr, 1985. "General Equilibrium Effects of Agricultural Price Distortions: A Simple Model for Korea," School of Economics Working Papers 1985-01, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  13. Stern, David I. & Common, Michael S. & Barbier, Edward B., 1996. "Economic growth and environmental degradation: The environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(7), pages 1151-1160, July.
  14. David, Wilfredo P., 1988. "Soil and Water Conservation Planning: Policy Issues and Recommendations," Philippine Journal of Development JPD 1988 Vol. XV No. 1-c, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
  15. David, Cristina C & Huang, Jikun, 1996. "Political Economy of Rice Price Protection in Asia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(3), pages 463-83, April.
  16. Robert E. Baldwin, 1975. "Appendices to "Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: Philippines"," NBER Chapters, in: Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: Philippines, pages 157-160 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Nickerson, Donna J., 1999. "Trade-offs of mangrove area development in the Philippines," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 279-298, February.
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