Effects of Rural and Urban Population Dynamics and National Development on Deforestation in Less-Developed Countries, 1990–2000.

Type

Journal Article

Author(s)

Jorgenson, A.K.
Burns, T.J.

Title

Effects of Rural and Urban Population Dynamics and National Development on Deforestation in Less-Developed Countries, 1990–2000.

Year

2007

Journal

Sociological Inquiry

Vol (No), pp

77(3), 460-482

Abstract

While prior research and theorization establish connections between population growth and environmental degradation, there is a relative paucity of research on what particular aspects of population dynamics are most closely associated with specific types of degradation. Considering all less-developed countries for which data are available, using Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression we generate quantitative, cross-national models for rates of deforestation in the last decade of the twentieth century. The opposite effects of rural and urban population dynamics are of particular concern. While both influence deforestation rates, the effects of rural population change tend to be more profound and more robust. We discuss these findings in light of theoretical work about circular migration and rural encroachment. In addition, we examine the impact of economic development on deforestation while controlling for political and social welfare variables. Findings suggest a trend toward rapidly increasing rates of deforestation in the least-developed countries. We conclude with a discussion of how rural–urban population dynamics, in combination with other aspects of national development, affect the natural environment, particularly in light of an increasingly interconnected world economy.

Citation

Jorgenson, A. K., & Burns, T. J. (2007). Effects of Rural and Urban Population Dynamics and National Development on Deforestation in Less-Developed Countries, 1990–2000. Sociological Inquiry, 77(3), 460-482. URL : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1475-682X.2007.00200.x/abstract