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Do Tropical Forests Provide A Safety Net? Income Shocks And Forest Extraction In Malawi

  • Fisher, Monica G.
  • Shively, Gerald E.

We use seasonal household data on income shocks and forest extraction to study how households in Malawi use forests to cope with income shortfalls. In particular, we study household response to receipt of a positive income shock delivered in the form of a technology assistance package. We estimate a random-effects model of forest extraction to examine whether household forest use is responsive to income shocks received in a prior period. We also measure the extent to which households subsequently save out of transitory income. Findings indicate that forest extraction by asset-poor households was more responsive to income shocks than forest extraction by better-off households. Findings also suggest households save out of transitory income, and in the process accumulate physical assets that may reduce their dependence on forests for weathering subsequent income shocks. Results show how policies aimed at poverty alleviation among those living adjacent to tropical forests can also alleviate forest pressure.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/22228
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Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada with number 22228.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea03:22228
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  1. Anjini Kochar, 1999. "Smoothing Consumption by Smoothing Income: Hours-of-Work Responses to Idiosyncratic Agricultural Shocks in Rural India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 50-61, February.
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  12. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1993. "Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing, and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investment in Bullocks in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 223-44, April.
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