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What Drives Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon? Evidence from Satellite and Socioeconomic Data

Alexander Strickland Pfaff Talikoff

Title:
What Drives Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon? Evidence from Satellite and Socioeconomic Data
Author(s):
Talikoff, Alexander Strickland Pfaff
Date:
Type:
Working papers
Department:
Economics
Permanent URL:
Series:
Department of Economics Discussion Papers
Part Number:
9596-27
Publisher:
Department of Economics, Columbia University
Publisher Location:
New York
Abstract:
This paper analyzes the determinants of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. From a model of optimal land use, it derives and then estimates a deforestation equation on county-level data for the period 1978 to 1988. The data include a deforestation measure from satellite images which is a great advance in allowing within-country analysis. Evidence exists that: most important for policy, both increased road density in neighbouring counties lead to more deforestation; government development projects increase deforestation; greater distance from the economic center of the country leads to less deforestation; and better soil quality leads to more deforestation. The evidence on provision of subsidized credit is mixed. Addressing an oft-mentioned factor, the population density is significant when population is the sole explanatory variable, but not when other variables suggested by the model are included. A quadratic population specification yields a more robust (although still small), concave effect, suggesting the importance of the spatial distribution of population.
Subject(s):
Economics
Environmental studies
Item views:
268
Metadata:
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