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Commons as insurance: safety nets or poverty traps?




Common property resources are often used by households of developing countries as insurance in case of economic stress. The aim of this paper is to consider the potential poverty-trap implications of this use. If the capacity of the resource is low, or if the population in need of insurance is too large, the households are trapped in CPR extraction activity and cannot get more than their subsistence requirement. In this context, cooperation between households and the introduction of a cooperative insurance mechanism may sustain an equilibrium outside the poverty trap and relax pressure on the resource. Moreover, private insurance schemes could also be a potential solution to this poverty trap.

Suggested Citation

  • Delacote, Philippe, 2009. "Commons as insurance: safety nets or poverty traps?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 305-322, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:14:y:2009:i:03:p:305-322_00

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    2. Shyamsundar, Priya & Ahlroth, Sofia & Kristjanson, Patricia & Onder, Stefanie, 2020. "Supporting pathways to prosperity in forest landscapes – A PRIME framework," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    3. Pri Perera & Risa Morimoto, 2019. "Poverty, institutions and environmental degradation: Fishing commons governance and the livelihood of rural households amid mangrove deforestation in Puttalam, Sri Lanka," Working Papers 229, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
    4. Nielsen, Martin Reinhardt & Pouliot, Mariève & Kim Bakkegaard, Riyong, 2012. "Combining income and assets measures to include the transitory nature of poverty in assessments of forest dependence: Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 37-46.
    5. Combes, Jean-Louis & Delacote, Philippe & Combes Motel, Pascale & Yogo, Thierry Urbain, 2018. "Public spending, credit and natural capital: Does access to capital foster deforestation?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 306-316.
    6. Smith, Harriet Elizabeth & Jones, Daniel & Vollmer, Frank & Baumert, Sophia & Ryan, Casey M. & Woollen, Emily & Lisboa, Sá N. & Carvalho, Mariana & Fisher, Janet A. & Luz, Ana C. & Grundy, Isla M. & P, 2019. "Urban energy transitions and rural income generation: Sustainable opportunities for rural development through charcoal production," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 237-245.
    7. Gwendoline Promsopha, 2018. "Risk†Coping, Land Tenure And Land Markets: An Overview Of The Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(1), pages 176-193, February.

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