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Social Determinants of Deforestation in Developing Countries: A Cross-National Study

Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez
Social Forces
Vol. 77, No. 2 (Dec., 1998), pp. 567-586
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3005539
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3005539
Page Count: 20
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Social Determinants of Deforestation in Developing Countries: A Cross-National Study
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Abstract

This study examines the social forces that drive deforestation. Neo-Malthusian, modernization, and dependency theories are applied in a cross-national comparison of 51 developing countries. Multiple regression techniques are applied to estimate the rate of deforestation using the level of urbanization, economic growth rate, population growth rate, level of sectoral inequality, rate of change in primary product exports, and rate of change in tertiary education. Results support modernization theory, indicating that the level of urbanization has a curvilinear effect on the rate of deforestation, that economic growth contributes to deforestation, and that sectoral inequality reduces the rate of deforestation. In support of neo-Malthusian theory, population growth results in higher rates of deforestation. Tertiary education has a mild negative effect on the rate of deforestation, whereas the effect of trade dependency is insignificant.

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