A multi-disciplinary team of authors analyze the economics of Brazilian deforestation using a large data set of ecological and economic variables. They survey the most up to date work in this field and present their own dynamic and spatial econometric analysis based on municipality level panel data spanning the entire Brazilian Amazon from 1970 to 1996. By observing the dynamics of land use change over such a long period the team is able to provide quantitative estimates of the long-run economic costs and benefits of both land clearing and government policies such as road building. The authors find that some government policies, such as road paving in already highly settled areas, are beneficial both for economic development and for the preservation of forest, while other policies, such as the construction of unpaved roads through virgin areas, stimulate wasteful land uses to the detriment of both economic growth and forest cover.
• Makes use of unique data set on state of Amazonian rainforest • Employs state of art econometric methodology • Offers important policy insights for both national and international environmental management
Preface; Part I. Overview of Issues: 1. The Brazilian Amazon; 2. Extent of deforestation; 3. Review of sources on deforestation; Part II. Econometric Analysis of the Causes of Deforestation: 4. The DESMAT data set; 5. An econometric model of deforestation; 6. Further analysis - cattle ranching; 7. Urban infrastructure; 8. Carbon emissions from Amazon deforestation; Part III. Economics of Deforestation: 9. Economic analysis of deforestation; Part IV. Alternatives to Deforestation: Extractivism - an Economically Viable Alternative to Deforestation?: 10. Plant extractivism in Brazil; 11. Plant extraction in the Amazon - a spatial analysis; Part V. Policy Implications, Discussion and Conclusion: 12. Policy implications and recommendations; 13. Conclusion; Appendix. Econometric methods.
A book on the Brazilian Amazon, the world's largest tropical forest, always demands one's attention and this volume is an especially worthy addition to the literature. The authors have drawn on all available data sources to assess the benefits and costs of land-use change in the region. Moreover, key findings are presented without resort to technical jargon, which guarantees that the book's impacts will be far-reaching.' Douglas Southgate, Ohio State University