Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Boom-bust patterns in the Brazilian Amazon

Weinhold, Diana ORCID: 0000-0002-0002-9378, Molina Vale, Petterson and Reis, Eustaquio J. (2015) Boom-bust patterns in the Brazilian Amazon. Global Environmental Change, 35. pp. 391-399. ISSN 0959-3780

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.09.013


We revisit the long-standing hypothesis that the process of human development and land clearing in Amazonia follows a boom-and-bust (inverted U) pattern, where early clearing leads to a socioeconomic ‘boom’ which then turns to ‘bust’ after the deforestation process has matured. Although the hypothesis has found some empirical support in cross sectional data, a handful of longitudinal case studies have failed to identify incidences of ‘busts.’ We show that the cross sectional results are a spurious artifact of spatial correlation, driven primarily by the large, multifaceted (and unobserved) differences between municipalities in the states of Amazonas and Maranhão. Furthermore, using new panel data on the Human Development Index (HDI) and deforestation rates from 1991 to 2010 we find no evidence of such boom-bust patterns in the time series. Municipalities categorized as either ‘post-frontier’ or ‘pre-frontier’ in 2000 enjoyed equal increases in HDI over the subsequent decade as the rest of the Amazon. Panel data analysis with fixed effects (within estimation) robustly rejects the hypothesis that HDI and deforestation follow an inverted-U relationship.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2015 10:58
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2024 06:12

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics