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The Safety-net Use of Non Timber Forest Products


  • Philippe Delacote

    () (Laboratoire d'Economie Forestière, INRA - AgroParisTech)


Incompleteness of insurance markets is a crucial weakness of developing countries. In this context, the poor households of rural regions often exploit common property resources, such as forests, as insurance in case of economics stress. The aim of this paper is to derive the implications of this insurance use on the forest cover, and thus on deforestation. The land-use choice between agricultural land and forest therefore resembles a portfolio diversification. However, I also show that this insurance strategy may lead to resource overexploitation and constitute a poverty trap.

Suggested Citation

  • Philippe Delacote, 2008. "The Safety-net Use of Non Timber Forest Products," Working Papers - Cahiers du LEF 2008-04, Laboratoire d'Economie Forestiere, AgroParisTech-INRA.
  • Handle: RePEc:lef:wpaper:2008-04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Peter Park & Edward Barbier & Joanne Burgess, 1998. "The Economics of Forest Land Use in Temperate and Tropical Areas," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 473-487, April.
    2. Holden, Stein & Shiferaw, Bekele, 2004. "Land degradation, drought and food security in a less-favoured area in the Ethiopian highlands: a bio-economic model with market imperfections," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 31-49, January.
    3. Das Gupta, Monica, 1987. "Informal Security Mechanisms and Population Retention in Rural India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 101-120, October.
    4. Azariadis, Costas & Stachurski, John, 2005. "Poverty Traps," Handbook of Economic Growth,in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5 Elsevier.
    5. Baland, Jean-Marie & Francois, Patrick, 2005. "Commons as insurance and the welfare impact of privatization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2-3), pages 211-231, February.
    6. Stefan Dercon, 2002. "Income Risk, Coping Strategies, and Safety Nets," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 141-166, September.
    7. Bromley, Daniel W & Chavas, Jean-Paul, 1989. "On Risk, Transactions, and Economic Development in the Semiarid Tropics," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(4), pages 719-736, July.
    8. Barbier, Edward B., 2000. "Links between economic liberalization and rural resource degradation in the developing regions," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 299-310, September.
    9. Angelsen, Arild, 1999. "Agricultural expansion and deforestation: modelling the impact of population, market forces and property rights," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 185-218, February.
    10. Angelsen, Arild, 1995. "Shifting cultivation and "deforestation": A study from Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 1713-1729, October.
    11. J. Taylor & Irma Adelman, 2003. "Agricultural Household Models: Genesis, Evolution, and Extensions," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 33-58, January.
    12. Angelsen, Arild & Kaimowitz, David, 1999. "Rethinking the Causes of Deforestation: Lessons from Economic Models," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 73-98, February.
    13. Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & Erin O. Sills, 2001. "Do Tropical Forests Provide Natural Insurance? The Microeconomics of Non-Timber Forest Product Collection in the Brazilian Amazon," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(4), pages 595-612.
    14. Bluffstone Randall A., 1995. "The Effect of Labor Market Performance on Deforestation in Developing Countries under Open Access: An Example from Rural Nepal," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 42-63, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mujawamariya, Gaudiose & Karimov, Aziz A., 2014. "Importance of socio-economic factors in the collection of NTFPs: The case of gum arabic in Kenya," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 24-29.

    More about this item


    deforestation; household model; risk aversion; agricultural expansion; forest products;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q23 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Forestry

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