Economists Demonstrate Relationship Between Crimes Against Environmental Activists and Economic Growth

Posted on 4/4/2016 9:45:45 AM

In an upcoming edition of Economics Bulletin, a recently accepted paper by Chris Jeffords and Alexi Thompson offers an empirical analysis of fatal crimes against environmental and land activists.

Their results demonstrate the presence of an inverted U-shaped relationship between fatal crimes against environmental and land activists and income per capita for a group of 34 countries from 2002-2013. Using panel data estimation techniques, the results are robust to controlling for rule of law, control of corruption, deforestation, homicide rates, and natural resource dependence.

The results provide evidence of a relationship between economic growth and the safety of environmental activists. At some point in a country’s economic development, environmental murders decrease with additional income, according to the results.

Furthermore, the results offer support for the findings of the Fifth Assessment Report of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which imply that physical security in the context of environmental disputes is likely an environmental amenity which is increasingly in demand, especially as incomes grow.

Additional results suggest that the background level of fatal crimes (excluding environmental murders) is positively related to environmental murders, and the relationship between increased forest cover and environmental murders can be positive or negative.