Econometric Analysis of the Causes of Forest Land Use Changes in Hainan, China
This study addresses the effects of economic, demographic and institutional factors on land allocation between forestry and other uses. A panel data set from Hainan Island in China and a generalized least squares estimation method, allowing individual effects for counties, are applied. The results indicate that higher timber prices have led to acceleration in rainforest exploitation, but encouraged forest investment in plantation forests. Population growth is the driving force behind the loss of natural forests, but is positively related to plantation forests. De-collectivization seems to have promoted plantation forests, but have not saved the rainforest. A higher share of forestry land owned by state-owned enterprises also fosters afforestation on wasteland, but seems to lead to faster exploitation of natural forest, at least initially. The uncertainty that existed in the early period of economic reform quickened the pace of resource extraction and deterred investment.
Forestland tenure, economic transition,deforestation, reforestation, panel data
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