IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

More Social Capital, Less Erosion: Evidence From Peru'S Altiplano

Listed author(s):
  • Swinton, Scott M.

The debate over sustainable intensification has hinged on private incentives to abate land degradation. Largely missing is the role of social capital in both creating incentives and removing barriers to soil conservation. Yet soil conservation embodies the externality problem that bedevils so many aspects of natural resource management. Action by one farmer to reduce water or wind erosion may benefit neighboring fields by slowing the rate of water or wind movement across those lands. Yet these benefits are not fully captured by the farmer making the conservation investment. However, when economic agents care for one another, these externalities can be internalized, reducing the individual's disincentive to perform a socially level of natural resource conservation. Likewise, community organizations may provide collective capital and labor to overcome adoption barriers faced by individuals. The twin hypotheses that 1) farming practices influence soil erosion and 2) social capital influences the adoption of sustainable farming practices are tested with data from a 1999 survey of 197 farms in the Peruvian Altiplano around Lake Titicaca. The survey used cluster sampling of farms in villages to represent each of three arable agro-ecological zones in the Ilave-Huenque river basin. Relative asset levels were used to stratify resident households within villages. Personal interviews collected a wide range of data on farm household assets, management practices, and status of agricultural natural resources.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL with number 21853.

in new window

Date of creation: 2000
Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea00:21853
Contact details of provider: Postal:
555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

Phone: (414) 918-3190
Fax: (414) 276-3349
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Clay, Daniel & Reardon, Thomas & Kangasniemi, Jaakko, 1998. "Sustainable Intensification in the Highland Tropics: Rwandan Farmers' Investments in Land Conservation and Soil Fertility," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 351-377, January.
  2. Bebbington, Anthony, 1999. "Capitals and Capabilities: A Framework for Analyzing Peasant Viability, Rural Livelihoods and Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(12), pages 2021-2044, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:aaea00:21853. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.