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Institutional factors affecting biophysical outcomes in forest management


  • Eric A. Coleman

    (Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs)


Although there is considerable interest in the impact of diverse policies affecting the biophysical outcomes in forests, gaining a substantial sample over time of forests under different institutional arrangements has been difficult. This article analyzes data from 46 forests located in six countries over time. In forests where policies have been adopted for conservation, active monitoring and sanctioning by locals is associated with positive forest conditions. Forests that allow user group harvesting, perhaps counterintuitively, are also shown to be associated with positive forest conditions. However, conditions in community-managed forests are not statistically different from government- or privately managed forests. This implies that local communities can play an important role in achieving positive forest conditions but that full management responsibilities need not be given to achieve these results. © 2009 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric A. Coleman, 2009. "Institutional factors affecting biophysical outcomes in forest management," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 122-146.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:28:y:2009:i:1:p:122-146 DOI: 10.1002/pam.20405

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Agrawal, Arun & Chhatre, Ashwini, 2006. "Explaining success on the commons: Community forest governance in the Indian Himalaya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 149-166, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Epstein, Graham & Vogt, Jessica & Cox, Michael & Shimek, Luke, 2014. "Confronting problems of method in the study of sustainability," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 42-50.
    2. Meilby, Henrik & Smith-Hall, Carsten & Byg, Anja & Larsen, Helle Overgaard & Nielsen, Øystein Juul & Puri, Lila & Rayamajhi, Santosh, 2014. "Are Forest Incomes Sustainable? Firewood and Timber Extraction and Productivity in Community Managed Forests in Nepal," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(S1), pages 113-124.
    3. Epstein, Graham, 2017. "Local rulemaking, enforcement and compliance in state-owned forest commons," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 312-321.
    4. Coleman, Eric A. & Fleischman, Forrest D., 2012. "Comparing Forest Decentralization and Local Institutional Change in Bolivia, Kenya, Mexico, and Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 836-849.
    5. Shi, Miaoying & Yin, Runsheng & Zulu, Leo & Qi, Jiaguo & Freudenberger, Mark & Sommerville, Matthew, 2016. "Empirical linkages between devolved tenure systems and forest conditions: Selected case studies and country experiences," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 286-293.
    6. Junaid Alam Memon & Gopal B. Thapa, 2015. "Explaining the de facto Open-access of Public Property Commons," PIDE-Working Papers 2015:114, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    7. repec:eee:forpol:v:83:y:2017:i:c:p:131-141 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Anderies, John M. & Janssen, Marco A. & Bousquet, François & Cardenas, Juan-Camilo & Castillo, Daniel & Lopez, Maria-Claudio & Tobias, Robert & Vollan, Björn & Wutich, Amber, 2011. "The challenge of understanding decisions in experimental studies of common pool resource governance," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1571-1579, July.
    9. Ramcilovic-Suominen, Sabaheta & Epstein, Graham, 2015. "The impacts of deterrence, social norms and legitimacy on forest rule compliance in Ghana," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 10-20.

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