In this article, we link ideas from Evans concerning embedded autonomy to forest loss. In doing so, we hypothesize that higher levels of meritocratic hiring, firing, and promotion decisions in a government’s bureaucracy should correspond to less forest loss in low- and middle-income nations. We test this hypothesis by analyzing data from 78 low- and middle-income nations with ordinary least squares regression and two-stage instrumental variable regression models. We find support for the hypothesis across a variety of model specifications, which include other factors that have been linked to forest loss. We conclude by discussing the theoretical, methodological, and policy implications of the study.
Connecting Bureaucratic Structures to Forest Loss: A Cross-National Analysis of Embedded Autonomy in Low- and Middle-Income Nations
Jamie M. Sommer is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of South Florida. Her research interests are in the areas of governance and regulation in a global perspective, especially concerning the environment.
Michael Restivo is Associate Professor of Sociology and the Department Chair at the State University of New York at Geneseo. His research focuses on global disparities in health, technology, and the environment.
John M. Shandra is a Professor of Sociology and Associate Department Chair at Stony Brook University. His research interests are in the areas of environmental sociology, globalization, and quantitative methodology, especially with regard to multinational corporations, international financial institutions, and repressive nations.
Jamie M. Sommer, Michael Restivo, John M. Shandra; Connecting Bureaucratic Structures to Forest Loss: A Cross-National Analysis of Embedded Autonomy in Low- and Middle-Income Nations. Sociology of Development 1 September 2023; 9 (3): 242–262. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/sod.2022.0018
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