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Abstract

This study explores Norman Myers's concept of the “hamburger connection” as a form of ecologically unequal exchange, where more-developed nations are able to transfer the environmental costs of beef consumption to less-developed nations. I used ordinary least squares (OLS) regression to test whether deforestation in less-developed nations is associated with the vertical flow of beef exports to more-developed nations. An interaction term also examines whether this relationship is more pronounced in Latin American nations, as posited by Myers. The sample includes all nondesert, less-developed nations for which there are available data across all indicators (N= 48). Overall, the results confirm the tested hypotheses. The findings also provide unique contextual support for ecologically unequal exchange theory by demonstrating that unequal trade relationships can operate at the level of a single commodity type.