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Local Commons And Cross-Effects Of Population And Inequality On The Local Provision Of Environmental Services

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  • Juan Camilo Cárdenas

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Abstract

A farm-level and village level models are discussed and tested empirically using spatial data, for exploring the cross-effects between population density and land inequality in the "tragedy of the commons". Malthus himself argued that "An unfavourable distribution of produce, by prematurely diminishing the demand for labour, might retard the increase of food at an early period, in the same manner as if cultivation and population had been further advanced;" [Malthus (1830): pp. 239]. By exploring the farm and village level institutions and incentives for allocating land and labor to conservation or agriculture, the paper argues that inequality exacerbates the population pressure over the provision of environmental services, and that under more equal distribution of land, more sustainable technological adaptations may happen in which better farm and land-use practices emerge, decreasing the level of land degradation.

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Paper provided by UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE in its series DOCUMENTOS CEDE with number 003146.

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Length: 45
Date of creation: 15 Dec 2004
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Handle: RePEc:col:000089:003146

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Keywords: tragedy of the commons;

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  1. Kenneth S. Chan & Stuart Mestelman & Rob Moir & R. Andrew Muller, 1998. "Heterogeneity and the Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Department of Economics Working Papers 1998-04, McMaster University.
  2. Farrell, Joseph, 1987. "Information and the Coase Theorem," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 113-29, Fall.
  3. Weitzman, Martin L., 1974. "Free access vs private ownership as alternative systems for managing common property," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 225-234, June.
  4. Juan-Camilo Cardenas & John Stranlund & Cleve Willis, 2002. "Economic inequality and burden-sharing in the provision of local environmental quality," Artefactual Field Experiments 00030, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Baland, Jean-Marie & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1997. "Coordination problems in local-level resource management," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 197-210, June.
  6. Chan, Kenneth S. & Mestelman, Stuart & Muller, R. Andrew, 2008. "Voluntary Provision of Public Goods," Handbook of Experimental Economics Results, Elsevier.
  7. James Boyce, 1994. "Inequality as a Cause of Environmental Degradation," Published Studies ps1, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
  8. Boyce, James K., 1994. "Inequality as a cause of environmental degradation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 169-178, December.
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