Did technical change in agricultural production decrease the emission of pollutants on the Amazon Forest during 1990-2009?

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February 2016
Paper author(s): 
Felipe de Figueiredo Silva
Lilyan E. Fulginiti
Richad K. Perrin
Agricultural - Natural Resource Economics
Environmental Economics

The Amazon Forest is the largest tropical forest in the world stretching over nine states in northern Brazil. Land use in the Amazon Forest has been under discussion due to its direct and indirect effects on emission and sequestration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as CO2, N2O and CH4. Our interest here is to investigate whether technological change in agriculture has resulted in higher or lower costs of emissions abatement. We examined a panel of nine states from this region during the period 1990-2009, a period of rapid agricultural expansion as well as a series of new environmental regulations. The rate of technical change and its biases were estimated using stochastic and non-stochastic approaches. Preliminary results indicate a technological progress for Brazilian’s Amazon Forest states, which suggests a simultaneously expansion on GDP and contracted on CO2e emissions due to technical change. This technical change has been biased toward GDP and against emissions, indicating an increase in GDP foregone to achieve a given reduction in emissions.


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