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Crop Prices and Deforestation in the Tropics

Nicolas Berman (), Mathieu Couttenier (), Antoine Leblois () and Raphael Soubeyran ()
Additional contact information
Mathieu Couttenier: ENS de Lyon & CEPR
Antoine Leblois: CEE-M, Univ. Montpellier, CNRS, INRAE, Institut Agro, Montpellier, France

No 2022.08, Working Papers from FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists

Abstract: Global food demand is rising, driven by a growing world population and dietary changes in developing countries. This situation encourages farmers to increase crop production which, in turn, increases worldwide demand for agricultural land and the pressure on tropical forests. Given the probability that growth in world food demand will continue, this pressure is not likely to abate in coming decades. While the impact of food demand on deforestation has been in the headlines, rigorous evidence of the relationship between international crop prices and deforestation using large-N data remains scarce. We attempt to quantify this link during the twenty-first century using high-resolution annual forest loss data for tropical regions, combined with information on crop-specific agricultural suitability and annual global commodity prices. We find that price variation has a sizable impact on deforestation: crop price increases are estimated tobe responsible for a third of the total deforested area in the tropics (approx. 2 million km2) during the period 2001-2018. We also find that the degree of openness to international trade and level of economic development are first-order local characteristics affecting the magnitude of the impact of crop prices on deforestation.

Keywords: Deforestation; Food demand (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F18 Q23 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 60 pages
Date: 2022-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-dev and nep-env
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Working Paper: Crop Prices and Deforestation in the Tropics (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Crop Prices and Deforestation in the Tropics (2021) Downloads
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