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Conservation Policies And Labor Markets: Unraveling The Effects Of National Parks On Local Wages In Costa Rica

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Executive Summary

Despite the global environmental benefits of increasing the amount of protected areas, how these conservation policies affect the well-being of nearby individuals is still under debate. Using household surveys with highly disaggregated geographic references, the authors explored how national parks affect local wages in Costa Rica and how these effects vary within different areas of a park and among different social groups. They found that a park's effects on wages vary according to economic activity and proximity to the entrance of the park. Wages close to parks are higher only for people living near tourist entrances. Workers close to entrances are not only employed in higher-paid activities (nonagricultural activities) but also receive higher wages for these activities.

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