Does Economic Development Lead to Mangrove Loss? A Cross Country Analysis

Posted: 5 Dec 2003

See all articles by Edward B. Barbier

Edward B. Barbier

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Department of Economics

Mark Cox

University of York (UK)

Abstract

Mangroves line one quarter of the world's tropical coastlines, and approximately 117 countries and territories have mangrove resources within their borders. Although over recent years mangrove deforestation has occurred at a phenomenal rate worldwide, there have been few economic studies of the underlying causes. The article attempts such an analysis and particularly examines the role of economic development, with specific reference to those activities that may result in mangrove deforestation, in determining the area of mangrove left within a country. The article develops a model of economic activity and mangrove conversion. From this model, a relationship is established between remaining mangrove area, economic activity and other important causative factors. The mangrove area relationship is estimated empirically for a cross-section of 89 countries. Results show that shrimp aquaculture and agriculture are significantly associated with mangrove loss across all countries, whereas the higher the level of GDP per capita the more mangrove area remains. The number of protected areas, length of coastline and political stability were also important in determining the remaining mangrove area of a country.

JEL Classification: O13, Q22, Q23, Q24

Suggested Citation

Barbier, Edward B. and Cox, Mark, Does Economic Development Lead to Mangrove Loss? A Cross Country Analysis. Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 21, No. 4, pp. 418-432, October 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=475121

Edward B. Barbier (Contact Author)

Colorado State University, Fort Collins - Department of Economics ( email )

Fort Collins, CO 80523-1771
United States

Mark Cox

University of York (UK) ( email )

Heslington
York YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

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