Chair: International Food Economics and Rural Development
Economics of Land Use Change
Primary forests are lost or modified at a rate of six million hectares per year due to selective logging or deforestation, and there is no indication that the rate is slowing down. Deforestation, in turn, plays an important role in reducing biodiversity and in the global warming process. The major immediate cause of deforestation in many developing countries is the conversion of tropical rainforests to agricultural land by smallholder farmers. Our research aims at analyzing the patterns and the determinants of deforestation and land use change. We are particularly interested in the role of population growth, technological innovations, infrastructure and markets. Furthermore, we investigate the potential effect of payments for environmental services on deforestation and land use change. The empirical studies are based on primary data collected through household and village level surveys in Indonesia. Methodologically, we are applying econometric modeling techniques, experimental approaches, and linear programming.