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Title:The role of the forestry sector in regional economic development: A case study of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Author(s):Afonso, Roberta
Director of Research:Miller, Daniel C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Brazee, Richard J.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hewings, Geoffrey J.D.; Crost, Benjamin
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):forest plantations, forest policy, poverty, economic development, Brazil, Minas Gerais, forestry, input-output analysis, economic multipliers, regional development, income distribution
Abstract:For decades, governments have fostered the forestry sector for its economic returns and more recently for its environmental services. In a context of an increasing wood product market, especially in developing countries, the investigation of the socioeconomic impacts of this sector at local and regional levels is paramount. Brazil is one of the most important producers of wood products from forest plantations, which are of increasing economic importance for the national economy. This research uses the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil as a case study to analyze how the forestry sector affects the local and regional economies in the state. Minas Gerais is the state with the largest plantation area in Brazil since the 1980s and encompasses very unequally developed areas. This work begins to fill existing gaps in the literature regarding empirical research on plantations at local levels over a relatively long period of time. In addition, it analyzes the economic multipliers of this and other forestry sectors at sub-state level. Employing panel data methods and input-output analysis, the results show that plantation areas are associated with less poverty over time and higher per capita income. However, the regional analysis shows the economic multipliers of forest plantations are among the lowest in the state. The forest plantation sector generates relatively low income overall, but most of it stays in the same region and goes to the low-income classes, which helps explain the positive effect in reducing poverty. Most of the economic benefits of the forestry industry accrued to the more industrialized regions where the wood is processed and higher salaries are paid. The findings from this dissertation provide new insights on how forest plantations shape local development and who benefits from these plantations. The results therefore have important implications not only for scholarship but also for public policies seeking to support plantation expansion as a way to bring economic growth to remote and poorer areas.
Issue Date:2020-04-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Roberta Afonso
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-26
Date Deposited:2020-05

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