Unveiling Drivers of Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon

Kuschnig, Nikolas ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6642-2543 and Crespo Cuaresma, Jesus ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3244-6560 and Krisztin, Tamás (2019) Unveiling Drivers of Deforestation: Evidence from the Brazilian Amazon. Ecological Economic Papers, 32. WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna.


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The drivers of deforestation are the subject of many spatially explicit studies with considerable policy impact, yet few studies account for spatial dependence, thus neglecting spillover effects. In this work, we use high-resolution remotely sensed land cover change maps, extended with socioeconomic panel data for 141 municipalities in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil, to investigate the role of agriculture in deforestation from 2006 until 2016. Our econometric model specifically accounts for spatial indirect effects from the dependent and explanatory variables, thus avoiding biased and inconsistent estimates. We identify indirect spillover effects from croplands and direct effects from cattle as significant deforestation drivers. Neglecting to explicitly account for spatial dependence considerably underestimates deforestation pressure of soy production. We conclude that spatial dynamics play a crucial role in deforestation and need to be considered in econometric studies, in order to facilitate informed policy decisions.

Item Type: Paper
Additional Information: This work has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 725525). The research carried out in this paper was supported by funds of the Österreichische Nationalbank (Jubiläumsfond project No. 18116).
Keywords: Deforestation, spillover effects, spatial econometrics, agriculture, soybean, land use change
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Ecological Economics
Depositing User: Daniel Schmelz
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2019 09:31
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2019 09:31
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/7335


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