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Deforestation and Forest Land Use: A Reply

Deforestation and Forest Land Use: A Reply Deforestation and Forest Land Use: A Reply William F. Hyde In our recent article (Hyde, Amacher, and Magrath 1996), we argued that the "topic of deforestation is seldom examined from the perspective of prices and responses to resource scarcity" (p. 223). Our point was not that the market is perfect but rather that market responses limit the extent of deforestation—even in regions of attenu- ated property rights or open-access forest resources. The market sets this limit be- cause as deforestation proceeds, the increasing scarcity of the resource induces rising prices, which in turn induce private investments to satisfy both commercial and subsistence household uses of forest resources. As a result, deforestation proceeds to the geographic points where the harvest and access costs associated with removing the remaining natural stock equal the costs of reforestation on land that has estab- lished and enforceable property rights. This means that a considerable area of the world's natural forest is not endangered. Therefore, we argued that concern for the total forest resource and its protection is misguided. It would be better to concentrate on the price increases induced by deforestation and the costs of private reforestation with an eye to identifying the level http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The World Bank Research Observer Oxford University Press

Deforestation and Forest Land Use: A Reply

The World Bank Research Observer , Volume 13 (1) – Feb 1, 1998

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Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© Published by Oxford University Press.
ISSN
0257-3032
eISSN
1564-6971
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Abstract

Deforestation and Forest Land Use: A Reply William F. Hyde In our recent article (Hyde, Amacher, and Magrath 1996), we argued that the "topic of deforestation is seldom examined from the perspective of prices and responses to resource scarcity" (p. 223). Our point was not that the market is perfect but rather that market responses limit the extent of deforestation—even in regions of attenu- ated property rights or open-access forest resources. The market sets this limit be- cause as deforestation proceeds, the increasing scarcity of the resource induces rising prices, which in turn induce private investments to satisfy both commercial and subsistence household uses of forest resources. As a result, deforestation proceeds to the geographic points where the harvest and access costs associated with removing the remaining natural stock equal the costs of reforestation on land that has estab- lished and enforceable property rights. This means that a considerable area of the world's natural forest is not endangered. Therefore, we argued that concern for the total forest resource and its protection is misguided. It would be better to concentrate on the price increases induced by deforestation and the costs of private reforestation with an eye to identifying the level

Journal

The World Bank Research ObserverOxford University Press

Published: Feb 1, 1998

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