Causes of Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon is part of the World Bank Working Paper series. These papers are published to communicate the results of the Bank's ongoing research and to stimulate public discussion. The worldwide concern with deforestation of Brazilian Amazonia is partly motivated by the perception that it is a destructive process in which the social and economic gains are smaller than the environmental losses. The perception also underlies the diagnostic, formulation and evaluation of public policies proposed by government and non-governmental organizations working in the region, including the World Bank. Causes of Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon studies the role of cattle ranching -- its dynamic and profitability -- in the expansion of deforestation. It provides a social evaluation of deforestation in Brazilian Amazonia by, on one hand, identifying the main agents involved in the process, the economic motives behind their activities and their possible economic returns and, on the other hand, by undertaking a monetary evaluation of the economic (social) costs of deforestation while making some comparisons with sustainable forest management. The title presents and compares a number of different scenarios and proposes recommendations for the region.