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Population pressure and land degradation: the case of Ethiopia



Population pressure and land degradation: the case of Ethiopia



Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 30(1): 18-33



Literature published during the 1970s generated a number of important hypotheses on the possible harmful consequences of rapid population growth. The population pressure hypothesis (PPH) relates land degradation directly to population pressure, arguing that under comparable physical conditions, heavily eroded areas occur in highly populated regions. This hypothesis is tested using a multivariate analysis to identify factors responsible for the observed spatial distribution of soil erosion in Ethiopia. A severity of soil erosion index, a proxy for some types of water erosion, was chosen as the dependent variable. Because the dependent variable is categorical and ordinal, an ordinal cumulative logit model was chosen for the analysis. The key finding is that the probability of an area being classified above any given level of soil erosion rapidly increases as population exceeds the population-supporting capacity of its region. In other words, as pressure from people and livestock exceeds some threshold, a rapid degradation of land takes place.

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Accession: 002925165

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 12292334

DOI: 10.1006/jeem.1996.0002



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