Do the Poor Benefit from Devolution Policies? Evidences from Quantile Treatment Effect Evaluation of Joint Forest Management
Existing literature have rarely evaluated distributive effect of Joint Forest Management (JFM) augmented with improved market linkages for non-timber forest products nor have they accounted for heterogeneity in the welfare effects. We assess the distributional impact of a unique JFM in Ethiopia in which additional support for improved market linkages for non-timber forest products was provided. The analysis is based on matching and instrumental variable (IV) methods of quantile treatment effects (QTE) evaluation using household data from selected rural villages of Gimbo district, in southwest Ethiopia. The results confirm that the intervention affect outcomes heterogeneously across the welfare distribution. Specifically, the program was found to raise welfare for only those along upper half (median and above) of welfare distribution. Thus, we infer that the program is not pro-poor, and, therefore, is not equity enhancing. Our analysis also revealed that such distributional bias of the program benefit arises from elite capture.
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