Agricultural Subsidies and Deforestation

For many years, the world has been worried about the effects of agriculture and livestock on deforestation. During the last two decades, budgets to protect forests have grown substantially. At the same time, many countries are engaged in extensive agricultural subsidies. While in developed countries the effects of agricultural subsidies are often taken into consideration, in developing countries this is usually not the case. Therefore, subsidies intended to increase food production may also induce deforestation.

AAE grad student Fanny Moffette is working to analyze the impacts of several policies in Mexico. She tries to understand how subsidies effect enrollment in conservation programs, as well as whether the net deforestation effects of conservation payments are undermined by agricultural subsidies. While previous research analyzed the spill-over effects of conservation policies on deforestation, this paper studies the spill-over effects of agricultural policies within conservation areas and look at overall participation in the conservation program.

Fluent in 5 languages, Fanny worked in Honduras with the poorest communities of the country, as well as at FAO in Rome. Before coming to Wisconsin, she was a lecturer in Economics for two years.