A Spatial Analysis of Common Property Deforestation
Posted: 2 Feb 2007 Last revised: 18 Jun 2008
This paper develops and tests a theory of common property deforestation over space. The model examines both the spatial distribution of forest loss and the total amount of deforestation within a given community, showing how these outcomes are jointly determined. We estimate the equations of the model in a four step process using data from 318 Mexican common properties. In contrast to previous deforestation theories, we find that the allocation of deforestation across space is dependent upon both the absolute and relative quality and location of each hectare land in the same community and on the overall deforestation decision of the community. Simultaneously, total deforestation depends upon the value of deforested land, which is determined by its physical attributes, as well as the characteristics of the community that affect its collective choice problem. Smaller group size, higher secondary education, and greater inequality are associated with lower deforestation.
Keywords: deforestation, common property resources, spatial analysis, inequality
JEL Classification: 012, 013, Q23, R14
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