More Strictly Protected Areas are Not Necessarily More Protective: Evidence from Bolivia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Thailand

8 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2015

See all articles by Paul J. Ferraro

Paul J. Ferraro

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School; Georgia State University - Department of Economics

Merlin Hanauer

Sonoma State University - School of Business and Economics

Daniela A. Miteva

The Nature Conservancy; University of Minnesota - St. Paul; Duke University

Gustavo J. Canavire-Bacarreza

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Subhrendu K. Pattanayak

Duke University

Katharine R. E. Sims

Amherst College - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 23, 2015

Abstract

National parks and other protected areas are at the forefront of global efforts to protect biodiversity and ecosystem services. However, not all protection is equal. Some areas are assigned strict legal protection that permits few extractive human uses. Other protected area designations permit a wider range of uses. Whether strictly protected areas are more effective in achieving environmental objectives is an empirical question: although strictly protected areas legally permit less anthropogenic disturbance, the social conflicts associated with assigning strict protection may lead politicians to assign strict protection to less-threatened areas and may lead citizens or enforcement agents to ignore the strict legal restrictions. We contrast the impacts of strictly and less strictly protected areas in four countries using IUCN designations to measure de jure strictness, data on deforestation to measure outcomes, and a quasi-experimental design to estimate impacts. On average, stricter protection reduced deforestation rates more than less strict protection, but the additional impact was not always large and sometimes arose because of where stricter protection was assigned rather than regulatory strictness per se. We also show that, in protected area studies contrasting y management regimes, there are y2 policy-relevant impacts, rather than only y (squared), as earlier studies have implied.

Keywords: impact evaluation, treatment effects, counterfactual, reserves, sustainable use, integrated management

Suggested Citation

Ferraro, Paul J. and Hanauer, Merlin and Miteva, Daniela A. and Canavire Bacarreza, Gustavo Javier and Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. and Sims, Katharine R. E., More Strictly Protected Areas are Not Necessarily More Protective: Evidence from Bolivia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Thailand (January 23, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2554238 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2554238

Paul J. Ferraro

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

Merlin Hanauer (Contact Author)

Sonoma State University - School of Business and Economics ( email )

1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
United States

Daniela A. Miteva

The Nature Conservancy ( email )

Fort Collins, CO 80524
United States

University of Minnesota - St. Paul

St. Paul, MN 55108
United States

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Gustavo Javier Canavire Bacarreza

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Subhrendu K. Pattanayak

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
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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