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Managing the Commons: How Extension Facilitates Local Participation to Manage Natural Resources

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  • Bidisha Mandal
  • Timothy Lawrence

Abstract

Extension promotes volunteerism and facilitates community involvement in the informed decision-making process required for managing natural resources; Extension also enhances local social capital. This important role does not receive as much attention in the literature on Extension and its scope as does its traditional role of information provision. We conducted a study to examine the need and demand for Extension programs in a rural community comprised entirely of islands and tangibly dependent on natural resources. We found that affiliation with Extension has a strong impact on the willingness to pay for Extension programs. Thus, we provide evidence that supports the argument that Extension is an important service and an appropriate use of public funds for economic development. This finding is in line with Elinor Ostrom’s theory in new institutional economics that well-designed, robust local entities that stimulate local participation can assist in managing natural resources.

Suggested Citation

  • Bidisha Mandal & Timothy Lawrence, 2017. "Managing the Commons: How Extension Facilitates Local Participation to Manage Natural Resources," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 499-515.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:apecpp:v:39:y:2017:i:3:p:499-515.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/aepp/ppw031
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Extension; willingness to pay; public support; volunteers; natural resources;

    JEL classification:

    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • H7 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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