Deforestation and cattle ranching in the Brazilian Amazon: External capital and household processes

Robert Walker, Emilio Moran, Luc Anselin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations


This paper decomposes recent deforestation in four study areas in the Brazilian Amazon into components associated with large ranches and small producers. It then assesses in an inferential framework small producer deforestation with respect to the proximate causes of their farming systems, and the household drivers of their farming system choices. It is shown that, for areas with substantial in-migration of small producers, forest clearance at the household level is mainly attributable to the availability of hired labor, and not to household labor force or the physical capital at their disposal. The paper conducts the inferential analysis of small producer deforestation using measures of forest clearance taken from satellite image classification and directly from field surveys. A substantial discrepancy in the measures is identified, which has implications for household level research on land cover change. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-699
Number of pages17
JournalWorld Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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