The Ecological Footprint of Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Mexico's Oportunidades Program

44 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2010

See all articles by Jennifer Alix‐Garcia

Jennifer Alix‐Garcia

University of San Francisco - College of Arts & Sciences

Craig McIntosh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS)

Jarrod R. Welch

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Katharine R. E. Sims

Amherst College - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 10, 2010

Abstract

We study the consequences of poverty alleviation programs for environmental degradation in Mexico. We exploit the community-level eligibility discontinuity for a conditional cash transfer program to identify the impacts of income increases on deforestation, and use the program’s initial randomized rollout to explore household responses. We find that additional income increases demand for resource-intensive goods. The corresponding production response and deforestation increase are more detectable in communities with poor road infrastructure. These results are consistent with the idea that better access to markets disperses environmental harm and the full effects of treatment can only be observed where poor infrastructure localizes them.

Keywords: Poverty and Environment, Deforestation, Conditional Cash-Transfers, Spillover Effects, Economic Development

JEL Classification: O12, O13, Q01, Q24, Q23

Suggested Citation

Alix-Garcia, Jennifer and McIntosh, Craig and Welch, Jarrod R. and Sims, Katharine R. E., The Ecological Footprint of Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Mexico's Oportunidades Program (March 10, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1568245 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1568245

Jennifer Alix-Garcia (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco - College of Arts & Sciences ( email )

San Francisco, CA 94117
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.usfca.edu/artsci/fac_staff/A/alix-garcia_jennifer.html

Craig McIntosh

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IRPS) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

Jarrod R. Welch

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Katharine R. E. Sims

Amherst College - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000
United States

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