Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: Comparing the Impacts of Macroeconomic Shocks, Land Tenure, and Technological Change

Andrea Cattaneo, Edward B. Barbier and Joanne C. Burgess


The paper examines the current relevance of the set of variables reported in the literature as driving deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. The analysis uses a computable general equilibrium (CGE)model adapted to capture regional economic structures and the environmental processes specific to tropical areas. The paper compares the impact on deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon of: changes in real exchange rate; modifications in agricultural tax and support policies; reductions in transportation costs arising from investment in infrastructure in the Amazon; changes in land tenure regimes; and technological change in agriculture affecting productivity and agronomic sustainability. (JEL Q15, Q23)

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