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Forest Fires Across Italian Regions and Implications for Climate Change: A Panel Data Analysis

Melania Michetti () and Mehmet Pinar ()

Environmental & Resource Economics, 2019, vol. 72, issue 1, No 10, 207-246

Abstract: Abstract In this paper, we analyze the determinants of monthly variations in forest fire frequency and on the size of the area burnt for Italian regions between 2000 and 2011. We employ panel data techniques, which allow capturing the dynamics of fire danger due to changes in past climatic conditions, after accounting for regional fixed effects to control region-specific unobserved and time-invariant factors. Results highlight a significant heterogeneity of the effects of driving factors across the Italian peninsula and weather seasons. Climatic conditions also show lasting effects within the year. Using climate change projections for 2016–2035, we then obtain the projected forest fire frequency and total area burnt across the Italian peninsula for the same period. Climate change is expected to increase the number of forest fires across the whole peninsula, which is more evident for the central part of Italy. Even though most of annual increases in fire events relate to the summer period, intensifications in frequency during autumn become more evident in the southern Italy. We extend finally our analysis to investigate the contribution of socio-economic factors to fire regime and the role of education and the containment of fraudulent activity is also highlighted.

Keywords: Forest fires; Forestry; Climate change; Panel-data estimation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C33 Q23 Q54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1007/s10640-018-0279-z

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