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Poverty and the Environment-Exploring the Relationship between Household Incomes, Private Assets and Natural Assets

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Author Info

  • Urvashi Narain

    (Resources for the Future, Washington DC)

  • Shreekant Gupta

    (Delhi School of Economics)

  • Klaas vant Veld

    (University of Wyoming, Laramie)

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    Abstract

    Using purpose-collected survey data from 535 households in 60 different villages of the Jhabua district of India, this paper investigates the extent to which rural households depend on common-pool natural resources for their daily livelihood. Previous studies have found that resource dependence-- defined as the fraction of total income derived from common-pool resources--strongly decreases with income. Our study uncovers a more complex relationship. Firstly, for the subsample of households that use positive amounts of resources, we find that dependence follows a U-shaped relationship with income, declining at first but then increasing. Secondly, we find that the probability of being in the subsample of common-pool resource users follows an inverse U-shaped relationship with income - the poorest and richest households are less likely to collect resources than those with intermediate incomes. Resource use by the rich is therefore bimodal - either very high or--for the very rich households--zero. Thirdly, we find that resource dependence increases at all income levels with an increase in the level of common-pool biomass availability. The combination of these results suggests that the quality of natural resources matters to a larger share of the rural population than had previously been believed, common-pool resources contribute a significant fraction of the income not just of the desperately poor, but also of the relatively rich.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics in its series Working papers with number 134.

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    Length: 50 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cde:cdewps:134

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    Related research

    Keywords: India; Madhya Pradesh; poverty; environment; common-pool natural resources; rural households;

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    References

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    1. 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, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 245-257, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. World Bank, 2007. "Poverty and Environment : Understanding Linkages at the Household Level," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6924, August.
    2. Robinson, Elizabeth J.Z. & Lokina, Razack B., 2011. "A spatial-temporal analysis of the impact of access restrictions on forest landscapes and household welfare in Tanzania," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 79-85, January.
    3. Taruvinga, Amon & Mushunje, Abbyssinia, 2012. "Buffer zone income dynamics for the sub-district producer community: Implications for rural off-farm income, income inequality and the development of household agriculture," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, International Association of Agricultural Economists 126377, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. World Bank, 2005. "India : Unlocking Opportunities for Forest-Dependent People in India, Volume 2, Appendixes," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8414, The World Bank.
    5. World Bank, 2007. "Poverty and Environment : Understanding Linkages at the Household Level," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7744, The World Bank.
    6. Angelo Antoci & Paolo Russu & Elisa Ticci, 2008. "Distributive impact of structural change: does environmental degradation matter?," Working Papers - Economics wp2008_07.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    7. Anthon, Signe & Lund, Jens Friis & Helles, Finn, 2008. "Targeting the poor: Taxation of marketed forest products in developing countries," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 197-224, June.

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