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Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: Distinguishing behaviour from location

Suzi Kerr (), Alexander Pfaff, Romina Cavatassi, Benjamin Davis, Leslie Lipper, Arturo Sanchez and Jason Timmins ()
Additional contact information
Benjamin Davis: Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization
Leslie Lipper: Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization

No 04-19, Working Papers from Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA)

Abstract: We summarize existing theoretical claims linking poverty to rates of deforestation and then examine this linkage empirically for Costa Rica during the 20th century using an econometric approach that addresses the irreversibilities in deforestation. Our data facilitate an empirical analysis of the implications for deforestation of where the poor live. Without controlling for this, impacts of poverty per se are confounded by richer areas being different from the areas inhabited by the poor, who we expect to find on more marginal lands, for instance less profitable lands. Controlling for locations’ characteristics, we find that poorer areas are cleared more rapidly. This result suggests that poverty reduction aids forest conservation.

Keywords: Climate; Climate observations; Costa Rica; Deforestation; Forest management; Nature conservation; Poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I32 O13 Q51 Q54 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28 pages
Date: 2004
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