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Institutions and collective action: Does heterogeneity matter in community-based resource management?

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  • Bhim Adhikari
  • Jon Lovett

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between local level heterogeneity and the likelihood of successful collective action in community-based forest management in Nepal. Economic and social heterogeneity are discussed and their effects on local level collective action considered. The study develops simple measures of inequality for key variables, and shows that there is no clear-cut impact of group heterogeneity on collective action. Forest user groups can create institutions for resource management according to their local context in order to avoid management problems created by inequalities among resource users. Perhaps the most important result is that the effects of heterogeneity can be highly variable, and the recommendation is that systems of governance need to be flexible to allow adaptation of management regimes to local conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bhim Adhikari & Jon Lovett, 2006. "Institutions and collective action: Does heterogeneity matter in community-based resource management?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(3), pages 426-445.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:42:y:2006:i:3:p:426-445
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380600576201
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    Cited by:

    1. Chand, Narendra & Kerr, Geoffrey N. & Bigsby, Hugh R., "undated". "Why some community forests are performing better than others: a case of forest user groups in Nepal," 2010 Conference, August 26-27, 2010, Nelson, New Zealand 96827, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    2. Andrew B. Ayres & Eric C. Edwards & Gary D. Libecap, 2017. "How Transaction Costs Obstruct Collective Action: Evidence from California’s Groundwater," NBER Working Papers 23382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Yadav, Bhagwan Dutta & Bigsby, Hugh & MacDonald, Ian, 2015. "How can poor and disadvantaged households get an opportunity to become a leader in community forestry in Nepal?," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 27-38.
    4. Naidu, Sirisha C., 2009. "Heterogeneity and Collective Management: Evidence from Common Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 676-686, March.
    5. Gerring, John & Thacker, Strom C. & Lu, Yuan & Huang, Wei, 2015. "Does Diversity Impair Human Development? A Multi-Level Test of the Diversity Debit Hypothesis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 166-188.
    6. Pete Parker & Brijesh Thapa, 2011. "Distribution of benefits based on household participation roles in decentralized conservation within Kanchenjunga Conservation Area Project, Nepal," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 13(5), pages 879-899, October.
    7. Gary D. Libecap, 2013. "Addressing Global Environmental Externalities: Transaction Costs Considerations," NBER Working Papers 19501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Chand, Narendra & Kerr, Geoffrey N. & Bigsby, Hugh, 2015. "Production efficiency of community forest management in Nepal," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 172-179.
    9. Bulte Erwin & Horan Richard D., 2010. "Identities in the Commons: The Dynamics of Norms and Social Capital," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-35, February.
    10. St. Clair, Priscilla Cooke, 2016. "Community forest management, gender and fuelwood collection in rural Nepal," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 52-71.
    11. Tewathia, Nidhi, 2011. "Heterogeneity in Common Property Resource Management and its Implications," MPRA Paper 64010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Das, Nimai, 2011. "Women's dependence on forest and participation in forestry: A case study of joint forest management programme in West Bengal," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 67-89, January.

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