Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: Distinguishing Behavior From Location

ESA Working Paper No. 04-19

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)

Leslie Lipper

Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN

Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jason C. Timmins

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 2004

Abstract

We summarize existing theoretical claims linking poverty to rates of deforestation and then examine this linkage empirically for Costa Rica during the 20 th 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.

Suggested Citation

Cavatassi, Romina and Kerr, Suzi and Pfaff, Alexander and Davis, Benjamin and Lipper, Leslie and Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo and TIMMINS, JASON C., Effects of Poverty on Deforestation: Distinguishing Behavior From Location (November 2004). ESA Working Paper No. 04-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3307567

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

Leslie Lipper

Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN ( email )

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
Rome, Lazio 00100
Italy

Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa

affiliation not provided to SSRN

JASON C. TIMMINS

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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