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Private Trees as Household Assets and Determinants of Tree-Growing Behavior in Rural Ethiopia

  • Mekonnen, Alemu
  • Damte, Abebe
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    This study looked into tree-growing behavior of rural households in Ethiopia. With data collected at household and parcel levels from the four major regions of Ethiopia, we analyzed the decision to grow trees and the number of trees grown, using such econometric strategies as a zero-inflated negative binomial model, Heckman’s two-step procedure, and panel data techniques. Our findings show the importance of analysis at the parcel level in addition to the more common household-level. Moreover, the empirical analysis indicates that the determinants of the decision to grow trees are not necessarily the same as those involved in deciding the number of trees grown. Land certification, as an indicator of tenure security, increases the likelihood that households will grow trees, but is not a significant determinant of the number of trees grown. Other variables, such as risk aversion, land size, adult male labor, and education of household head, also influence the number of trees grown. In general, the results suggest the need to use education and/or awareness of the role and importance of trees and point out the importance of household endowments and behavior, such as land, labor, and risk aversion, for tree growing. Finally, we observed that, while tree planting is practiced in all four regions covered, there are variations across regions.

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    Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-11-14-efd.

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    Date of creation: 28 Dec 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-11-14-efd
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    1. Carlsson, Fredrik & Köhlin, Gunnar & Mekonnen, Alemu, 2004. "Contingent valuation of community plantations in Ethiopia: a look into value elicitation formats and intra-household preference variations," Working Papers in Economics 151, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    2. Mani Nepal & Alok K. Bohara & Robert P. Berrens, 2007. "The Impacts of Social Networks and Household Forest Conservation Efforts in Rural Nepal," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 83(2), pages 174-191.
    3. Greene, William, 2008. "Functional forms for the negative binomial model for count data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 585-590, June.
    4. Gebreegziabher, Zenebe & Mekonnen, Alemu & Kassie, Menale & Köhlin, Gunnar, 2010. "Household Tree Planting in Tigrai, Northern Ethiopia: Tree Species, Purposes, and Determinants," Working Papers in Economics 432, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    5. Pender, John L., 1996. "Discount rates and credit markets: Theory and evidence from rural india," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 257-296, August.
    6. Gebremedhin, Berhanu & Swinton, Scott M., 2003. "Investment in soil conservation in northern Ethiopia: the role of land tenure security and public programs," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 29(1), July.
    7. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing & Adenew, Berhanu & Gebre-Selassie, Samuel & Nega, Berhanu, 2003. "Tenure security and land-related investment - evidence from Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2991, The World Bank.
    8. Yesuf, Mahmud & Köhlin, Gunnar, 2008. "Market Imperfections and Farm Technology Adoption Decisions: A Case Study from the Highlands of Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-08-04-efd, Resources For the Future.
    9. Shively, Gerald E., 1998. "Economic policies and the environment: the case of tree planting on low-income farms in the Philippines," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 83-104, February.
    10. Mekonnen, Alemu & Bluffstone, Ramdall, 2008. "Is There a Link between Common Property Forest Management and Private Tree Growing? Evidence of Behavioral Effects from Highland Ethiopia," Discussion Papers dp-08-29-efd, Resources For the Future.
    11. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2007. "Agricultural Extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
    12. Stein Holden & Hailu Yohannes, 2002. "Land Redistribution, Tenure Insecurity, and Intensity of Production: A Study of Farm Households in Southern Ethiopia," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 78(4), pages 573-590.
    13. Feder, Gershon & Feeny, David, 1991. "Land Tenure and Property Rights: Theory and Implications for Development Policy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 135-53, January.
    14. Besley, Timothy, 1995. "Property Rights and Investment Incentives: Theory and Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 903-37, October.
    15. Shively, Gerald E., 1999. "Prices and Tree Planting on Hillside Farms in Palawan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 937-949, June.
    16. Brasselle, Anne-Sophie & Gaspart, Frederic & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 2002. "Land tenure security and investment incentives: puzzling evidence from Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-418, April.
    17. Holden, Stein T. & Shiferaw, Bekele & Wik, Mette, 1998. "Poverty, market imperfections and time preferences: of relevance for environmental policy?," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 105-130, February.
    18. Stein T. Holden & Klaus Deininger & Hosaena Ghebru, 2007. "Impacts of Low-Cost Land Certification on Investment and Productivity," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(2), pages 359-373.
    19. Bluffstone, Randall & Boscolo, Marco & Molina, Ramiro, 2008. "Does better common property forest management promote behavioral change? On-farm tree planting in the Bolivian Andes," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(02), pages 137-170, April.
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