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Activity Choice, Labor Allocation, and Forest Use in Malawi

  • Monica Fisher
  • Gerald E. Shively
  • Steven Buccola

This article examines the determinants of activity choice affecting forest use among low-income households in Malawi. Data from three villages are used to estimate a system of household labor share equations for maize production, forest employment, and non-forest employment. A system estimation approach is used to identify factors influencing the competing and synergistic livelihood strategies which households undertake at the forest margin. Results from constrained maximum likelihood estimation indicate heightened incentives to degrade forests when returns to forest use are high. Factors reducing forest pressure include favorable returns to non-forest employment, secondary education of the household head, and wealth.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Land Economics.

Volume (Year): 81 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 ()

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:landec:v:81:y:2005:i:4:p503-517
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  1. Gerald E. Shively, 2001. "Agricultural Change, Rural Labor Markets, and Forest Clearing: An Illustrative Case from the Philippines," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(2), pages 268-284.
  2. Alwang, Jeffrey & Siegel, P. B., 1999. "Labor Shortages on Small Landholdings in Malawi: Implications for Policy Reforms," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1461-1475, August.
  3. de Janvry, Alain & Fafchamps, Marcel & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Peasant Household Behaviour with Missing Markets: Some Paradoxes Explained," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1400-417, November.
  4. Nawata, Kazumitsu, 1994. "Estimation of sample selection bias models by the maximum likelihood estimator and Heckman's two-step estimator," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 33-40, May.
  5. Gerald Shively & Monica Fisher, 2004. "Smallholder Labor and Deforestation: A Systems Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1361-1366.
  6. Mukherjee, Sanjukta & Benson, Todd, 2003. "The Determinants of Poverty in Malawi, 1998," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 339-358, February.
  7. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  8. Laitinen, Kenneth, 1978. "Why is demand homogeneity so often rejected?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 187-191.
  9. Byron, Neil & Arnold, Michael, 1999. "What Futures for the People of the Tropical Forests?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 789-805, May.
  10. Marc Jacobson & Joel De Castro & Vianca Aliaga & Julio Romero & MAllison Davis, 1998. "The Role of Tenure Security and Private Time Preference in Neotropical Deforestation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(2), pages 162-170.
  11. Steven Were Omamo, 1998. "Transport Costs and Smallholder Cropping Choices: An Application to Siaya District, Kenya," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(1), pages 116-123.
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