Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: Distinguishing Behaviour From Location

Volume 25 Economics of Poverty, Environment and Natural-Resource Use

Posted: 9 Jan 2019

See all articles by Romina Cavatassi

Romina Cavatassi

IFAD

Suzi Kerr

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust

Alexander Pfaff

Duke University - Policy, Economics, Environment; Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

Benjamin Davis

United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Jose A Sanchez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jason Craig Timmins

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust - Department of Labour

Date Written: 03 1, 2008

Abstract

We review many theoretical predictions that link poverty to deforestation and then examine poverty’s net impact empirically using multiple observations of all of Costa Rica after 1960. Countrywide disaggregate (district-level) data facilitate analysis of both poverty’s location and its impact on forest. If the characteristics of the places the poor live are not controlled for, then poverty’s impact is confounded with differences between poorer and less poor areas and we find no significant effect of poverty. Using our data over space and time to control for effects of locations’ differing characteristics, we find that the poorer are on land whose relative quality discourages forest clearing, such that with these controls the poorer areas are cleared more. The latter result suggests that poverty reduction aids the forest. For the poorest areas, this result is weaker but another effect is found: deforestation responds less to productivity, i.e., the poorest have less ability to expand or to reduce given land quality

Suggested Citation

Cavatassi, Romina and Kerr, Suzi and Pfaff, Alexander and Davis, Benjamin and A Sanchez, Jose and Timmins, Jason Craig, Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: Distinguishing Behaviour From Location (03 1, 2008). Volume 25 Economics of Poverty, Environment and Natural-Resource Use. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3307554

Romina Cavatassi (Contact Author)

IFAD ( email )

Via Paolo di Dono
Rome, 00142
Italy

Suzi Kerr

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust ( email )

Level 1, 93 Cuba Street
P.O. Box 24390
Wellington, 6142
New Zealand
+64 4 383 4250 (Phone)
+64 4 383 4270 (Fax)

Alexander Pfaff

Duke University - Policy, Economics, Environment ( email )

201 Science Drive
Box 90312
Durham, NC 27708-0239
United States

Duke University - Department of Psychology and Neuroscience ( email )

Durham, NC 27708
United States

Benjamin Davis

United Nations - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ( email )

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome, Lazio 00100
Italy

Jose A Sanchez

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jason Craig Timmins

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research Trust - Department of Labour ( email )

PO Box 3705
Wellington
New Zealand
64-4-9154397 (Phone)

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