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Poverty and resource dependence in rural India

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  • Narain, Urvashi
  • Gupta, Shreekant
  • van 't Veld, Klaas
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    Abstract

    Previous studies of rural households in developing countries have tended to find that the dependence of these households on common-pool resources declines with income. Our study of households in Jhabua, India, finds a more complex relationship. Using the share of resource income in total long-run or "permanent" income as our dependence measure--which we argue is more appropriate than the short-run income-based measure commonly used in the literature--we find that for households that collect any resources at all, dependence exhibits a U-shaped relationship with income. That is, the poorest and richest households depend more on resources than households with intermediate incomes. The poorest and richest households are also found to be least likely to collect, however, indicating that resource use at the income extremes is bimodal--either zero or above average. Moreover, the observed trends for resources as a whole are not mirrored in those for individual resources. Dependence on fuelwood and dung declines with income, for example, while dependence on fodder and construction wood increases. These findings suggest that common-pool resources are a productive source of income not just for the poor but also for the rich, and that improvements in the stocks of these resources can potentially form the basis of poverty reduction efforts in these economies.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 66 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (May)
    Pages: 161-176

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:66:y:2008:i:1:p:161-176

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

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    References

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    1. Cavendish, William, 2000. "Empirical Regularities in the Poverty-Environment Relationship of Rural Households: Evidence from Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 1979-2003, November.
    2. Fisher, Monica, 2004. "Household welfare and forest dependence in Southern Malawi," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 135-154, May.
    3. Reddy, S. R. C. & Chakravarty, S. P., 1999. "Forest Dependence and Income Distribution in a Subsistence Economy: Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1141-1149, July.
    4. Adhikari, Bhim & Di Falco, Salvatore & Lovett, Jon C., 2004. "Household characteristics and forest dependency: evidence from common property forest management in Nepal," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 245-257, February.
    5. Leung, Siu Fai & Yu, Shihti, 1996. "On the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 197-229.
    6. Will Cavendish, 1999. "Poverty, inequality and environmental resources: quantitative analysis of rural households," CSAE Working Paper Series 1999-09, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    7. Adhikari, Bhim, 2005. "Poverty, property rights and collective action: understanding the distributive aspects of common property resource management," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(01), pages 7-31, February.
    8. Beck, Tony & Nesmith, Cathy, 2001. "Building on Poor People's Capacities: The Case of Common Property Resources in India and West Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 119-133, January.
    9. Puhani, Patrick A, 2000. " The Heckman Correction for Sample Selection and Its Critique," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 53-68, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Arabinda Mishra, 2009. "Determinants of Fuelwood Use in Rural Orissa: Implications for Energy Transition," Working Papers id:2145, eSocialSciences.
    2. Barbier, Edward B., 2012. "Natural capital, ecological scarcity and rural poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6232, The World Bank.
    3. Khan, Shaheen Rafi & Khan, Shahrukh Rafi, 2009. "Assessing poverty-deforestation links: Evidence from Swat, Pakistan," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(10), pages 2607-2618, August.
    4. Patricia Uberhuaga & Carsten Smith-Hall & Finn Helles, 2012. "Forest income and dependency in lowland Bolivia," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 3-23, February.
    5. Lopez-Feldman, Alejandro & Taylor, J. Edward & Yunez-Naude, Antonio, 2010. "Natural Resource Dependence in Rural Mexico," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61230, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Naidu, Sirisha C., 2011. "Rural Livelihoods, Forest Access and Time Use: A Study of Forest Communities in Northwest India," MPRA Paper 31060, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Subhrendu K Pattanayak, 2009. "Rough Guide to Impact Evaluation of Environmental and Development Programs," Working Papers id:2187, eSocialSciences.
    8. Sonja S. Teelucksingh & Paulo A.L.D. Nunes, 2010. "Biodiversity Valuation in Developing Countries: A Focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS)," Working Papers 2010.111, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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