IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Population pressure and the microeconomy of land management in hills and mountains of developing countries:

  • Templeton, Scott R.
  • Scherr, Sara J.
Registered author(s):

    Concerns about harmful environmental impacts are frequently raised in research and policy debates about population growth in the hills and mountains of developing countries. Although establishing wildlife corridors and biosphere reserves is important for preserving selected biodiverse habitats, for the vast majority of hilly-mountainous lands, the major ecological concerns are for the sustainability of local production systems and for watershed integrity. What matters for sustained use of those lands not only is the number of producers but also what, where and how they produce. Evidence from empirical research indicates that population growth in hills and mountains can lead to land enhancement, degradation, or aspects of both. This can be explained by extending induced innovation theory to address environmental impacts of intensification. Increases in the labor-land endowment ratios of households and in local land demand and labor supply make the opportunity cost of land relative to labor increase. As a result, people use hilly-mountainous land resources more intensively for production and consumption, thus tending to deplete resources and significantly alter habitats. But, at the same time, capital- and labor-intensive methods of replenishing or improving soil productivity may become economically more attractive, production systems that enhance the land if the expected discounted returns are greater than those of systems that degrade the land. Users will choose production systems that enhance the land if the expected discounted returns are greater than those of systems that degrade the land. In addition to population change, other factors—market conditions, local institutions and organizations, information and technology about resource management, and local ecological conditions—determine the returns from various production systems.

    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 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series EPTD discussion papers with number 26.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 1997
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fpr:eptddp:26
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 2033 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
    Phone: 202-862-5600
    Fax: 202-467-4439
    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.:

    as in new window
    1. Clay, Daniel C. & Byiringiro, Fidele Usabuwera & Kangasniemi, Jaakko & Reardon, Thomas & Sibomana, Bosco & Uwamariya, Laurence & Tardif-Douglin, David, 1996. "Promoting Food Security in Rwanda through Sustainable Agricultural Productivity: Meeting the Challenges of Population Pressure, Land Degradation, and Poverty," Food Security International Development Policy Syntheses 11425, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. Robert T. Deacon, 1994. "Deforestation and the Rule of Law in a Cross-Section of Countries," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 70(4), pages 414-430.
    3. LaFrance, Jeffrey T., 1992. "Do Increased Commodity Prices Lead To More Or Less Soil Degradation?," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 36(01), April.
    4. Ehui, Simeon & Williams, Timothy & Swallow, Brent, 1995. "Economic Factors and Policies Encouraging Environmentally Detrimental Land Use Practices in Sub-Saharan Africa," 1994 Conference, August 22-29, 1994, Harare, Zimbabwe 183404, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Kumar, Shubh K. & Hotchkiss, David, 1988. "Consequences of deforestation for women's time allocation, agricultural production, and nutrition in hill areas of Nepal:," Research reports 69, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. White, T Anderson & Runge, C Ford, 1994. "Common Property and Collective Action: Lessons from Cooperative Watershed Management in Haiti," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-41, October.
    7. Michael Kevane, 1996. "Agrarian Structure and Agricultural Practice: Typology and Application to Western Sudan," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(1), pages 236-245.
    8. Bilsborrow, Richard E., 1987. "Population pressures and agricultural development in developing countries: A conceptual framework and recent evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 183-203, February.
    9. Scherr, Sara J. & Hazell, P. B. R., 1994. "Sustainable agricultural development strategies in fragile lands:," EPTD discussion papers 1, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    10. Garcia-Barrio, Raul & Garcia-Barrios, Luis, 1990. "Environmental and technological degradation in peasant agriculture: A consequence of development in Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(11), pages 1569-1585, November.
    11. Edward B. Barbier, 1990. "The Farm-Level Economics of Soil Conservation: The Uplands of Java," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 66(2), pages 199-211.
    12. Grepperud, Sverre, 1996. "Population Pressure and Land Degradation: The Case of Ethiopia," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 18-33, January.
    13. Current, Dean & Lutz, Ernst & Scherr, Sara J, 1995. "The Costs and Benefits of Agroforestry to Farmers," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 10(2), pages 151-80, August.
    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:fpr:eptddp:26. 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: ()

    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.