Wilderness Conservation and the Reach of the State: Evidence from National Borders in the Amazon

22 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018 Last revised: 6 Dec 2021

See all articles by Robin Burgess

Robin Burgess

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Francisco Costa

FGV EPGE

Benjamin A. Olken

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Harvard University - Society of Fellows

Date Written: July 2018

Abstract

Preserving wilderness ecosystems in developing countries is challenging because their remote location places them far from state control. We investigate this using 30x30 meter satellite data to determine how Amazonian deforestation changes discretely at the Brazilian international border. In 2000, Brazilian pixels were 30 percent more likely to be deforested, and between 2001 and 2005 annual Brazilian deforestation was more than 3 times the rate observed across the border. In 2006, just after Brazil introduces policies to reduce illegal deforestation, these differences disappear. These results demonstrate the power of the state to affect whether wilderness ecosystems are conserved or exploited.

Suggested Citation

Burgess, Robin and Costa, Francisco and Olken, Benjamin A., Wilderness Conservation and the Reach of the State: Evidence from National Borders in the Amazon (July 2018). NBER Working Paper No. w24861, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3222408

Robin Burgess (Contact Author)

London School of Economics (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://econ.lse.ac.uk/staff/rburgess/index_own.html

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Francisco Costa

FGV EPGE ( email )

Praia de Botafogo 190/1119C
Rio de Janeiro RJ 22253-900
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/fjmcosta/

Benjamin A. Olken

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-6833 (Phone)
617-253-1330 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-588-1407 (Phone)

Harvard University - Society of Fellows

Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
11
Abstract Views
300
PlumX Metrics