Geographic expansion and intensification of coffee-growing in Costa Rica during the Green Revolution (1950-89): Drivers and outcomes

Abstract: This article presents fresh improved aggregated data on coffee-growing regional specialization in Costa Rica between the 1950s to the 1980s and discusses the determinants of the expansion of that coffee cropping frontier with a model that combines environmental and geo-economic drivers. The model performs a multiregression analysis that includes agroclimatic, land use, demographic, and market access variables to explain the geographical patterns of expansion and intensification of coffee-growing areas during the deployment of the Green Revolution. The results allow us to characterize the locations and understand the main drivers behind coffee regional specialization. The results confirm that the locations of coffee-growing expansion were conditioned by a dynamic interaction among first and second-nature factors whose importance changed over time within a complex social and agro-ecological fabric that allowed, to some extent, the endurance of functional shaded management in small-scale coffee plantations.