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Roads & SDGs, tradeoffs and synergies: learning from Brazil's Amazon in distinguishing frontiers

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  • Pfaff, Alexander
  • Robalino, Juan
  • Reis, Eustáquio J.
  • Walker, Robert
  • Perz, Stephen
  • Laurance, William
  • Bohrer, Claudio
  • Aldrich, Steven
  • Arima, Eugenio
  • Caldas, Marcellus
  • Kirby, Kathryn R.

Abstract

To inform the search for SDG synergies in infrastructure provision, and to reduce SDG tradeoffs, the authors show that road impacts on Brazilian Amazon forests have varied significantly across settings. Forest loss varied predictably with prior development - both prior roads and prior deforestation - and in a spatial pattern suggesting a synergy between forests and urban growth in such frontiers. Examining multiple roads investments, the authors estimate impact for settings of high, medium and low prior roads and deforestation. Census-tract observations are numerous for each setting and reveal a pattern, not consistent with endogeneity, that confirms our predictions for this kind of frontier. Impacts are: low after relatively high prior development; larger for medium prior development, at the forest margin; then low again for low prior development. For the latter setting, the authors note that in such isolated areas, interactions with conservation policies influence forest impacts over time. These Amazonian results suggest "SDG strategic" locations of infrastructure, an idea they suggest for other frontiers while highlighting differences in those frontiers and their SDG opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Pfaff, Alexander & Robalino, Juan & Reis, Eustáquio J. & Walker, Robert & Perz, Stephen & Laurance, William & Bohrer, Claudio & Aldrich, Steven & Arima, Eugenio & Caldas, Marcellus & Kirby, Kathryn R., 2017. "Roads & SDGs, tradeoffs and synergies: learning from Brazil's Amazon in distinguishing frontiers," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-83, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201783
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert T. Deacon, 1994. "Deforestation and the Rule of Law in a Cross-Section of Countries," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(4), pages 414-430.
    2. Shahidur R. Khandker & Zaid Bakht & Gayatri B. Koolwal, 2009. "The Poverty Impact of Rural Roads: Evidence from Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 57(4), pages 685-722, July.
    3. Andersen,Lykke E. & Granger,Clive W. J. & Reis,Eustaquio J. & Weinhold,Diana & Wunder,Sven, 2002. "The Dynamics of Deforestation and Economic Growth in the Brazilian Amazon," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521811972, October.
    4. Angelsen, Arild & Kaimowitz, David, 1999. "Rethinking the Causes of Deforestation: Lessons from Economic Models," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, February.
    5. Gibson, John & Rozelle, Scott, 2003. "Poverty and Access to Roads in Papua New Guinea," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 159-185, October.
    6. Southgate, Douglas & Sierra, Rodrigo & Brown, Lawrence, 1991. "The causes of tropical deforestation in Ecuador: A statistical analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 19(9), pages 1145-1151, September.
    7. 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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    More about this item

    Keywords

    deforestation; roads; infrastructure; climate change; biodiversity; Brazil;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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