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The Environmental Impact of Poverty: Evidence from Firewood Collection in Rural Nepal

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  • Pranab Bardhan

    (University of California, Berkeley)

  • Jean-Marie Baland

    (University of Namur)

  • Sanghamitra Das

    (Indian Statistical Institute)

  • Dilip Mookherjee

    () (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University)

  • Rinki Sarkar

    (Indian Statistical Institute)

Abstract

We investigate determinants of household firewood collection in rural Nepal, using 1995-96 and 2002-3 World Bank Living Standards Measurement Survey (LSMS) data. We incorporate village fixed effects, endogenous censoring, measurement error in living standards and heterogeneous effects of different household assets. We find no evidence in favor of the poverty-environment hypothesis. The evidence for the environmental Kuznets curve depends on the precise measure of living standards and time period studied. Firewood collections fall with a transition to modern occupations and rise with increasing population and household division. The local interhousehold collection externality is negligible, indicating that policy interventions are justified only by ecological considerations or nonlocal spillovers. (c) 2010 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
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Suggested Citation

  • Pranab Bardhan & Jean-Marie Baland & Sanghamitra Das & Dilip Mookherjee & Rinki Sarkar, 2002. "The Environmental Impact of Poverty: Evidence from Firewood Collection in Rural Nepal," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-126, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bos:iedwpr:dp-126
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Baland, Jean-Marie & Bardhan, Pranab & Das, Sanghamitra & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2010. "Forests to the People: Decentralization and Forest Degradation in the Indian Himalayas," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 1642-1656, November.
    2. Burke, Paul J. & Dundas, Guy, 2015. "Female Labor Force Participation and Household Dependence on Biomass Energy: Evidence from National Longitudinal Data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 424-437.
    3. Abebaw, Degnet & Kassa, Habtemariam & Kassie, Girma T. & Lemenih, Mulugeta & Campbell, Bruce & Teka, Worku, 2012. "Dry forest based livelihoods in resettlement areas of Northwestern Ethiopia," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 72-77.
    4. Jean-Marie Baland & Pranab Bardhan & Sangharmitra Das & Dilip Mookherjee, 2009. "Forest Degradation in the Himalayas: Determinants and Policy Options," Working Papers 1002, University of Namur, Department of Economics.
    5. Démurger, Sylvie & Fournier, Martin, 2011. "Poverty and firewood consumption: A case study of rural households in northern China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 512-523.
    6. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:507-523 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Jagger, Pamela & Shively, Gerald, 2014. "Land use change, fuel use and respiratory health in Uganda," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 713-726.
    8. Johanna CHOUMERT & Pascale COMBES MOTEL & Pierre Leonard LE ROUX, 2017. "Stacking up the ladder: A panel data analysis of Tanzanian household energy choices," Working Papers 201724, CERDI.
    9. Paudel, Jayash, 2016. "Community-Managed Forests and Household Welfare: Empirical Evidence from Nepal," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235481, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Jagger, Pamela & Jumbe, Charles, 2016. "Stoves or sugar? Willingness to adopt improved cookstoves in Malawi," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 409-419.
    11. 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.
    12. Guta, Dawit Diriba, 2014. "Effect of fuelwood scarcity and socio-economic factors on household bio-based energy use and energy substitution in rural Ethiopia," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 217-227.
    13. Matsika, R. & Erasmus, B.F.N. & Twine, W.C., 2013. "Double jeopardy: The dichotomy of fuelwood use in rural South Africa," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 716-725.

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