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Climatic variability and cooperation in rangeland management: a case study from Niger


  • McCarthy, Nancy
  • Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul


In this paper, we develop an empirical model of an agro-pastoral system subject to high climatic risk to test the impact of rainfall variability on livestock densities, land allocation patterns and herd mobility observed at the community level. Also, because grazing land is a common-pool resource, we determine the impact of cooperation on these decision variables. To capture different abilities of communities to manage these externalities, we construct indices comprised of factors considered to affect the costliness of achieving successful cooperation found in the collective action literature. We then test hypotheses regarding the impact of rainfall variability and cooperation using data collected in a semi-arid region of Niger. Results indicate that rainfall variability first leads to higher and then lower stock densities, indicating that benefits of accumulating large herds in variable environments are eventually offset by the higher risks of low production and higher mortality. Communities with characteristics hypothesized to favor cooperation have lower stock densities and greater herd mobility. Neither cooperation nor rainfall variability has a significant impact on the proportion of land allocated to crops vs. common pastures.

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  • McCarthy, Nancy & Vanderlinden, Jean-Paul, 2002. "Climatic variability and cooperation in rangeland management: a case study from Niger," CAPRi working papers 24, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:worpps:24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2000. "Participation in Heterogeneous Communities," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 847-904.
    2. Baland, J-M & Platteau, J-P, 1997. "Wealth Inequality and Efficiency in the Commons," Papers 193, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ratner, B. D., 2013. "Addressing conflict through collective action in natural resource management: a synthesis of experience," IWMI Working Papers H046235, International Water Management Institute.
    2. Shiferaw, B., 2008. "Community watershed management in semi-arid India: the state of collective action and its effects on natural resources and rural livelihoods," IWMI Working Papers H043862, International Water Management Institute.

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    Environmental management;


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