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Smoothing Income against Crop Flood Losses in Amazonia: Rain Forest or Rivers as a Safety Net?

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  • Yoshito Takasaki
  • Bradford L. Barham
  • Oliver T. Coomes

Abstract

This article examines the role of ex post labor supply in smoothing income in response to crop losses caused by large floods among riverine households in the Peruvian Amazon, where rich environmental endowments permit a variety of resource extractive activities and coping responses. The paper finds that households respond to crop losses primarily by intensifying fishing effort, not by relying on gathering of nontimber forest products, hunting, or asset liquidation. This ex post labor adjustment helps to smooth total income against small crop losses but less well against large crop losses. Both relatively nonpoor households with better fishing capital and poor young households with a physical labor advantage employ this natural insurance in rivers. Copyright � 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Review of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 14 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 48-63

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Handle: RePEc:bla:rdevec:v:14:y:2010:i:1:p:48-63

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References

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  1. John Hoddinott, 2006. "Shocks and their consequences across and within households in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 301-321.
  2. Fafchamps, Marcel & Lund, Susan, 2003. "Risk-sharing networks in rural Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 261-287, August.
  3. Stefan Dercon, 1996. "Wealth, risk and activity choices: cattle in Western Tanzania," CSAE Working Paper Series 1996-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Lisa A. Cameron & Christopher Worswick, 2003. "The Labor Market as a Smoothing Device: Labor Supply Responses to Crop Loss," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 327-341, 05.
  5. Delacote, Philippe, 2007. "Agricultural expansion, forest products as safety nets, and deforestation," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 235-249, April.
  6. Marcel Fafchamps & Chris Udry & Katherine Czukas, . "Drought and Saving in West Africa: Are Livestock a Buffer Stock?," Working Papers 97013, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  7. Norgaard, Richard B., 1981. "Sociosystem and ecosystem coevolution in the amazon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 238-254, September.
  8. Fisher, Monica & Shively, Gerald, 2005. "Can Income Programs Reduce Tropical Forest Pressure? Income Shocks and Forest Use in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1115-1128, July.
  9. Travis J. Lybbert & Christopher B. Barrett & Solomon Desta & D. Layne Coppock, 2004. "Stochastic wealth dynamics and risk management among a poor population," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 750-777, October.
  10. Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & Erin O. Sills, 2001. "Do Tropical Forests Provide Natural Insurance? The Microeconomics of Non-Timber Forest Product Collection in the Brazilian Amazon," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(4), pages 595-612.
  11. Rose, Elaina, 2001. "Ex ante and ex post labor supply response to risk in a low-income area," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 371-388, April.
  12. Udry, Christopher, 1995. "Risk and Saving in Northern Nigeria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1287-1300, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Mueller, Valerie & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2010. "Short- and long-term effects of the 1998 Bangladesh flood on rural wages," IFPRI discussion papers 956, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Takasaki, Yoshito, 2011. "Do the Commons Help Augment Mutual Insurance Among the Poor?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 429-438, March.

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