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Livestock as insurance and social status. Evidence from reindeer herding in Norway

  • Anne Borge Johannesen

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

  • Anders Skonhoft

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology)

The theory of livestock as a buffer stock predicts that agropastoralists facing substantial risks typically will use liquid assets, such as livestock, for self-insurance to smooth consumption. This paper examines this hypothesis for reindeer herders in Norway where the herders, in contrast to pastoralists in, say, Sub-Saharan Africa, face well functioning credit markets. Using survey data including slaughtering responses to a hypothetical meat price increase, we test whether keeping reindeer as insurance against risks affects the slaughter response. Furthermore, we study whether status motives for keeping large herds affect the harvest response to a changing slaughter price. As a background for the empirical analysis, a stochastic bioeconomic model describing Saami reindeer herding is formulated

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in its series Working Paper Series with number 10509.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 10 Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nst:samfok:10509
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  1. Fraser, Iain & Chisholm, Tony, 2000. "Conservation or cultural heritage? Cattle grazing in the Victoria Alpine National Park," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 63-75, April.
  2. Fafchamps, Marcel & Udry, Christopher & Czukas, Katherine, 1998. "Drought and saving in West Africa: are livestock a buffer stock?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 273-305, April.
  3. Anne Borge Johannesen & Anders Skonhoft, 2009. "Local Common Property Exploitation with Rewards," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(4), pages 637-654.
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