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Journal Articles Economics Bulletin Year : 2012

Legal Origin, Colonial Origins and Deforestation


This paper investigates whether inherited legacies such as legal origin allow for the explanation of deforestation in 110 developed and developing countries. I hypothesize that differences on deforestation among countries can be attributed to their legal systems. Also, since nearly all common law countries are former English colonies, and nearly all civil law countries were colonized by France, Spain or Portugal, legal origins and colonial history are strongly correlated, so that one can not attribute all the effect of legal system. Overall I find that (i) French civil law countries deforest less than English common law ones in the total sample, in the sample of colonized countries and in the sample of tropical developing countries; (ii) Former French colonies deforest less than previous English colonies. These results are robust when geography features are controlled for since the process of colonization was not random and depended on initial geographic and climatic conditions.


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halshs-00912801 , version 1 (02-12-2013)


  • HAL Id : halshs-00912801 , version 1


Sébastien Marchand. Legal Origin, Colonial Origins and Deforestation. Economics Bulletin, 2012, 32 (2), pp.1653-1670. ⟨halshs-00912801⟩
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