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Forests, biomass use, and poverty in Malawi

Author

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  • Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit
  • Shyamsundar, Priya
  • Baccini, Alessandro

Abstract

In this paper, the authors seek to answer three questions about poverty and forests in Malawi: (1) What is the extent of biomass available for meeting the energy needs of the poor in Malawi and how is this distributed? (2) To what extent does fuelwood scarcity affect the welfare of the poor? (3) How do households cope with scarcity? In particular, do households spend more time in fuelwood collection and less time in agriculture in response to scarcity? The authors attempt to answer these questions using household and remote-sensing data. They find that 80 percent of rural poor households in Malawi are likely to benefit from an increase in biomass per hectare in their community. Rural women respond to biomass scarcity by increasing the time they spend on fuelwood collection. But the actual decrease in consumption expenditure and increase in time in fuelwood collection are small and biomass scarcity is not associated with a reduction in agricultural labor supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit & Shyamsundar, Priya & Baccini, Alessandro, 2006. "Forests, biomass use, and poverty in Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4068, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4068
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cooke, Priscilla A., 1998. "The effect of environmental good scarcity on own-farm labor allocation: the case of agricultural households in rural Nepal," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(04), pages 443-469, October.
    2. Duraiappah, Anantha K., 1998. "Poverty and environmental degradation: A review and analysis of the nexus," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(12), pages 2169-2179, December.
    3. Fisher, Monica, 2004. "Household welfare and forest dependence in Southern Malawi," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 135-154, May.
    4. Fisher, Monica & Shively, Gerald, 2005. "Can Income Programs Reduce Tropical Forest Pressure? Income Shocks and Forest Use in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1115-1128, July.
    5. French, David, 1986. "Confronting an unsolvable problem: Deforestation in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 531-540, April.
    6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    7. Khandker, Shahidur R, 1988. "Determinants of Women's Time Allocation in Rural Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 111-126, October.
    8. Cavendish, William, 2000. "Empirical Regularities in the Poverty-Environment Relationship of Rural Households: Evidence from Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(11), pages 1979-2003, November.
    9. Dasgupta, Susmita & Deichmann, Uwe & Meisner, Craig & Wheeler, David, 2005. "Where is the Poverty-Environment Nexus? Evidence from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 617-638, April.
    10. 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. Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit & Shyamsundar, Priya & Baccini, Alessandro, 2011. "Forests, biomass use and poverty in Malawi," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(12), pages 2461-2471.

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    Keywords

    Renewable Energy; Crops&Crop Management Systems; Wildlife Resources; Climate Change; Ecosystems and Natural Habitats;

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