Adjustment policies and the environment: A critical review of the literature

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London, UK: IIED


Adjustment programs in developing countries have been the subject of an intense debate since their debut in the early 1980s. Consideration of the environmental consequences of adjustment has added a new dimension to the discussion. This paper seeks to review the existing literature, examining the links between adjustment policies, the environment and the use of natural resources. Special attention is paid to the evidence presented in selected country case studies. A wide diversity of findings suggests that there is no simple answer to the question of whether adjustment is good or bad for the environment. The complexity of adjustment itself makes generalisation impossible, as do the varying circumstances of adjusting countries.


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Globalization, Rural development, Economic growth, Marketing and trade, Economic policy, Environmental impacts, Government policy, Food security, Government institutions, Poverty, Economic impacts, Food aid, Credit, Structural adjustment programs, Environmental consequences, Governance


The Collaborative Research in the Economics of Environment and Development (CREED) CREED Working Paper Series No 1.