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Fagseminar: The Effects of Land Use Regulation on Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

Handelshøgskolen ved UiS arrangerer åpent fagseminar med Torfinn Harding fra NHH som vil presentere sin artikkel: The Effects of Land Use Regulation on Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon.

Handelhøgskolen ved UiS ønsker alle interesserte velkommen til åpent fagseminar onsdag 9. desember kl 12:15-13:15 med Torfinn Harding, NHH.

Harding vil presentere sin artikkel "The Effects of Land Use Regulation on Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon".

Abstract:
Conservation zones in combination with an active enforcement regime have been hypothesized to be an important explanation for the sharp reduction in deforestation rates observed in Brazil over the last 10-15 years. We present a spatial economics model of land use with land regulation and imperfect enforcement to provide predictions for the spatial effects of conservation zoning and enforcement. The effectiveness of the zoning is in the model shown to depend on enforcement costs and the distance to relevant markets. Brazil’s rapid expansion of areas under conservation in the early 2000s is then used to test the predictions of the model. Satellite data on deforestation are combined with data on the roll-out of the policy and proxies for enforcement costs. High spatial resolution allows us to observe deforestation inside versus outside conservation zones and time-variation allows us to observe differences before and after zone establishment. To deal with potentially endogenous location of the zones, we take advantage of spatial regression discontinuity design, difference-in-difference estimation and sub-samples of straight conservation borders. Our empirical results suggest that there is little effect of the zoning. A likely explanation, consistent with the theory and the data, is that the zones are established in areas where deforestation is relatively unprofitable because of large distances to relevant markets. Our findings suggest that factors beyond the zoning policies need to be brought in to explain the sharp decline in deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.