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Managing Wild Resources: Institutional Choice and the Recovery of Resource Rent in Southwest China


  • Robinson, Brian E.
  • Provencher, Bill
  • Lewis, David J.


Managing harvests from natural resource systems is often seen as necessary to recover resource rent, that is, for wise and sustainable use. This paper develops a method to estimate resource rent recovery for a class of nontimber forest products and, using a unique dataset on the harvest of wild mushrooms in southwestern China, we empirically estimate this in open access, common access, and privately managed forests. We show that villages that lack rules (open access) do not always perform poorly. We explore how geographic context, resource endowments, transaction costs, and institutional goals may drive incentives for developing self-governing institutions.

Suggested Citation

  • Robinson, Brian E. & Provencher, Bill & Lewis, David J., 2013. "Managing Wild Resources: Institutional Choice and the Recovery of Resource Rent in Southwest China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 120-132.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:48:y:2013:i:c:p:120-132
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.04.004

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Songorwa, Alexander N., 1999. "Community-Based Wildlife Management (CWM) in Tanzania: Are the Communities Interested?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 2061-2079, December.
    8. Weyerhaeuser, Horst & Kahrl, Fredrich & Yufang, Su, 2006. "Ensuring a future for collective forestry in China's southwest: Adding human and social capital to policy reforms," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 375-385, June.
    9. Blaikie, Piers, 2006. "Is Small Really Beautiful? Community-based Natural Resource Management in Malawi and Botswana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(11), pages 1942-1957, November.
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    11. Morrow, Christopher E. & Hull, Rebecca Watts, 1996. "Donor-initiated common pool resource institutions: The case of the Yanesha Forestry Cooperative," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1641-1657, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jun He & Min Dong & Macro Stark, 2014. "Small Mushrooms for Big Business? Gaps in the Sustainable Management of Non-Timber Forest Products in Southwest China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-15, September.


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