SOYBEAN EXPORTS AND DEFORESTATION FROM A WORLD-SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE: A Cross-National Investigation of Comparative Disadvantage

Authors

  • Kelly F. Austin

    Corresponding author
    1. North Carolina State University
      Kelly F. Austin, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, North Carolina State University, Box 8107, 1911, Building, Raleigh, NC 27695; e-mail: kfaustin@ncsu.edu
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Kelly F. Austin, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, North Carolina State University, Box 8107, 1911, Building, Raleigh, NC 27695; e-mail: kfaustin@ncsu.edu

Abstract

This article draws on world-system theorizing to explore the relationship between deforestation and the vertical flow of soybean exports from less-developed nations to more-developed nations as a specific form of ecologically unequal exchange. Despite overwhelming case-study research exploring soybean–deforestation dynamics in less-developed countries, the current literature lacks any cross-national investigation of this trend. Ordinary least squares regression is used to examine whether soybean exports are associated with deforestation and if the magnitude of this relationship varies by region. Overall, the findings confirm the proposed hypotheses and suggest that having a comparative advantage in soybean production is not a viable development strategy.

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