Working Paper Series, School of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Amazonian farmersí response to fire policies and climate change
() and Arild Angelsen
Abstract: Despite a fall in deforestation, frequency and severity of
fires in the Brazilian Amazon are rising, causing huge carbon emissions,
biodiversity losses and local economic costs. The ignition sources are
anthropogenic and mostly related to the accidental spread of agricultural
fires. Fire risk mitigation is a coordination problem with strategic
complementarities: a farmerís benefit of mitigation depends on
complementary action of other farmers.
We experimentally assess ex-ante
the impact of two different policies under varying exogenous drought risk
scenarios. Command and control is more effective than payments for
environmental services in promoting coordination, possibly because of
participantsí risk aversion (to the fine) and a local demand for justice
and law enforcement. We also find evidence of a human-mediated
self-reinforcing loop of drought and fires: droughts increase the exogenous
component of fire risk, giving farmers less incentives to mitigate fire
risk coming from their own farms.
Keywords: Brazilian Amazon; forest fires; climate change; framed field experiment; coordination games; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: C93; Q23; Q54; (follow links to similar papers)
36 pages, August 9, 2017
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