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Governance, agricultural intensification and land sparing in tropical South America

Ceddia, M. G., Bardsley, N. O., Gomez-y-Paloma, S. and Sedlacek, S. (2014) Governance, agricultural intensification and land sparing in tropical South America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111 (20). pp. 7242-7247. ISSN 0027-8424

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1317967111


In this paper we address two topical questions: How do the quality of governance and agricultural intensification impact on spatial expansion of agriculture? Which aspects of governance are more likely to ensure that agricultural intensification allows sparing land for nature? Using data from the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Bank, the World Database on Protected Areas, and the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, we estimate a panel data model for six South American countries and quantify the effects of major determinants of agricultural land expansion, including various dimensions of governance, over the period 1970–2006. The results indicate that the effect of agricultural intensification on agricultural expansion is conditional on the quality and type of governance. When considering conventional aspects of governance, agricultural intensification leads to an expansion of agricultural area when governance scores are high. When looking specifically at environmental aspects of governance, intensification leads to a spatial contraction of agriculture when governance scores are high, signaling a sustainable intensification process.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Agri-Food Economics & Marketing
ID Code:36436
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences

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