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Natural resources and rural livelihoods


  • Raphael Nawrotzki

    (University of Colorado Boulder)

  • Thomas W. Dickinson

    (University of Colorado Boulder)

  • Lori Hunter

    (University of Colorado Boulder)


This study explores the impact of natural resource availability on differences between migrants’ and non-migrants’ well-being in rural Madagascar. Data from the 2008/2009 Demographic and Health Survey are used in combination with satellite imagery of vegetation coverage to proxy access to natural resources. Multilevel models yield three key findings. First, migrants have, on average, greater financial, physical, human, and social capital than non-migrants, whereas urban-to-rural migrants do exceptionally well on all capital asset categories. Second, greater proximate natural resources are associated with greater financial, human, and social capital. Third, significant cross-level interactions suggest that the benefits of local natural capital vary between migrants and non-migrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Nawrotzki & Thomas W. Dickinson & Lori Hunter, 2012. "Natural resources and rural livelihoods," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 26(24), pages 661-700, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:26:y:2012:i:24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Harley Browning & Waltraut Feindt, 1969. "Selectivity Of Migrants To A Metropolis In A Developing Country: A Mexican Case Study," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 6(4), pages 347-357, November.
    2. Elizabeth Fussell & Douglas Massey, 2004. "The limits to cumulative causation: International migration from Mexican Urban Areas," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(1), pages 151-171, February.
    3. Blessing Mberu, 2006. "Internal migration and household living conditions in Ethiopia," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 14(21), pages 509-540, June.
    4. Dercon, Stefan & De Weerdt, Joachim & Bold, Tessa & Pankhurst, Alula, 2006. "Group-based funeral insurance in Ethiopia and Tanzania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 685-703, April.
    5. Taryn Pereira & Charlie Shackleton & Sheona Shackleton, 2006. "Trade in reed-based craft products in rural villages in the Eastern Cape, South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(4), pages 477-495.
    6. Frank Ellis, 1998. "Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 1-38.
    7. Birgitta Rabe, 2011. "Dual-earner migration. Earnings gains, employment and self-selection," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(2), pages 477-497, April.
    8. Aonghas St-Hilaire, 2002. "The Social Adaptation of Children of Mexican Immigrants: Educational Aspirations Beyond Junior High School," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 83(4), pages 1026-1043.
    9. Barbara Entwisle, 2007. "Putting people into place," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 44(4), pages 687-703, November.
    10. Béland, Francois & Birch, Stephen & Stoddart, Greg, 2002. "Unemployment and health: contextual-level influences on the production of health in populations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 55(11), pages 2033-2052, December.
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    More about this item


    Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS); environment; length of residency; Madagascar; multilevel model; natural resources; NDVI; rural livelihoods; sustainable livelihood framework; urban to rural migration; vegetation;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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