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The effect of environmental change and price policies on livelihoods in tropical agroforestry systems

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  • Unai Pascual

    (University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

  • Roberto Martínez-Espiñeira

    (St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Abstract

Shifting cultivation is one of the most widely distributed forms of agroforestry in the tropics. This paper assesses the potential of using price policies prompting labour mobility to break the fallow crisis typical of such systems leading to the well-known vicious circle of land degradation and increased poverty. Given changing environmental conditions and endogeneity of household choices, a numerical bio-economic model is used, based on data from Mexico, to simulate possible scenarios. Results suggest that reducing staple prices can achieve a win-win outcome when farmers are not constrained to exit and enter the shifting cultivation system. This provides support for the 'spontaneous reforestation' hypothesis due to out-migration when the correct economic policies are in place. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Unai Pascual & Roberto Martínez-Espiñeira, 2009. "The effect of environmental change and price policies on livelihoods in tropical agroforestry systems," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 433-446.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:21:y:2009:i:3:p:433-446
    DOI: 10.1002/jid.1564
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. José Romero, 1998. "Mexican Agriculture: Distribution and Efficiency Effects of Eliminating Price Distortions," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 659-674, July.
    2. W.Neil Adger, 2001. "Scales of governance and environmental justice for adaptation and mitigation of climate change," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 921-931.
    3. Deininger, Klaus W & Minten, Bart, 1999. "Poverty, Policies, and Deforestation: The Case of Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(2), pages 313-344, January.
    4. Lopez, Ramon, 1997. "Environmental externalities in traditional agriculture and the impact of trade liberalization: the case of Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 17-39, June.
    5. Perrings C., 1994. "Sustainable livelihoods and environmentally sound technology," ILO Working Papers 993004733402676, International Labour Organization.
    6. Barbier, Edward B. & Burgess, J.C., 1996. "Economic analysis of deforestation in Mexico," MPRA Paper 12089, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Coomes, Oliver T. & Grimard, Franque & Burt, Graeme J., 2000. "Tropical forests and shifting cultivation: secondary forest fallow dynamics among traditional farmers of the Peruvian Amazon," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 109-124, January.
    8. repec:ilo:ilowps:300473 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Louis Verchot & Meine Noordwijk & Serigne Kandji & Tom Tomich & Chin Ong & Alain Albrecht & Jens Mackensen & Cynthia Bantilan & K. Anupama & Cheryl Palm, 2007. "Climate change: linking adaptation and mitigation through agroforestry," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 12(5), pages 901-918, June.
    10. Unai Pascual & Edward B. Barbier, 2007. "On Price Liberalization, Poverty, and Shifting Cultivation: An Example from Mexico," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(2), pages 192-216.
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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph K. Assan & Pushpam Kumar, 2009. "Introduction: Livelihood options for the poor in the changing environment," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(3), pages 393-402.

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