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Forests, biomass use, and poverty in Malawi

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  • Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit
  • Shyamsundar, Priya
  • Baccini, Alessandro
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    Abstract

    In this paper, the authors seek to answer three questions about poverty and forests in Malawi: (1) What is the extent of biomass available for meeting the energy needs of the poor in Malawi and how is this distributed? (2) To what extent does fuelwood scarcity affect the welfare of the poor? (3) How do households cope with scarcity? In particular, do households spend more time in fuelwood collection and less time in agriculture in response to scarcity? The authors attempt to answer these questions using household and remote-sensing data. They find that 80 percent of rural poor households in Malawi are likely to benefit from an increase in biomass per hectare in their community. Rural women respond to biomass scarcity by increasing the time they spend on fuelwood collection. But the actual decrease in consumption expenditure and increase in time in fuelwood collection are small and biomass scarcity is not associated with a reduction in agricultural labor supply.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4068.

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    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4068

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    Keywords: Renewable Energy; Crops&Crop Management Systems; Wildlife Resources; Climate Change; Ecosystems and Natural Habitats;

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    1. Fisher, Monica & Shively, Gerald, 2005. "Can Income Programs Reduce Tropical Forest Pressure? Income Shocks and Forest Use in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1115-1128, July.
    2. Cooke, Priscilla A., 1998. "The effect of environmental good scarcity on own-farm labor allocation: the case of agricultural households in rural Nepal," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 443-469, October.
    3. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    4. Cavendish, William, 2000. "Empirical Regularities in the Poverty-Environment Relationship of Rural Households: Evidence from Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 1979-2003, November.
    5. Khandker, Shahidur R, 1988. "Determinants of Women's Time Allocation in Rural Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 111-26, October.
    6. Fisher, Monica, 2004. "Household welfare and forest dependence in Southern Malawi," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 135-154, May.
    7. Duraiappah, Anantha K., 1998. "Poverty and environmental degradation: A review and analysis of the nexus," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(12), pages 2169-2179, December.
    8. French, David, 1986. "Confronting an unsolvable problem: Deforestation in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 531-540, April.
    9. Bluffstone Randall A., 1995. "The Effect of Labor Market Performance on Deforestation in Developing Countries under Open Access: An Example from Rural Nepal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 42-63, July.
    10. Dasgupta, Susmita & Deichmann, Uwe & Meisner, Craig & Wheeler, David, 2005. "Where is the Poverty-Environment Nexus? Evidence from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 617-638, April.
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