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Migration, remittances and forests : disentangling the impact of population and economic growth on forests

Author

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  • Tiwari, Sailesh
  • Bhattarai, Keshav

Abstract

International migration has increased rapidly in recent decades and this has been accompanied by a remarkable increase in transfers made by migrants to their home countries. This paper investigates the effect of the rural economic growth brought about by migration and remittances on Nepal's Himalayan forests. The authors assemble a unique village-panel dataset combining remote sensing data on land use and forest cover change with data from the census and multiple rounds of living standards surveys to test various inter-relationships between population, economic growth and forests. The results suggest that rural economic growth spurred by remittances has had an overall positive impact on forests. The paper also finds that remittances caused an increase in rural wages and an increase in income, but a decrease in land prices. Considered together, however, the relationship between forests and remittances is driven largely through the income channel, indicating that the demand for amenities provided by forests in the rural Nepali setting may have been more important than factor prices in influencing land use changes for the period of the study.

Suggested Citation

  • Tiwari, Sailesh & Bhattarai, Keshav, 2011. "Migration, remittances and forests : disentangling the impact of population and economic growth on forests," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5907, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5907
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    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2011/12/12/000158349_20111212125003/Rendered/PDF/WPS5907.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "How important is selection ? Experimental versus non-experimental measures of the income gains from migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3906, The World Bank.
    2. Dean Yang, 2008. "International Migration, Remittances and Household Investment: Evidence from Philippine Migrants' Exchange Rate Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(528), pages 591-630, April.
    3. Barry Chiswick & Timothy J. Hatton, 2003. "International Migration and the Integration of Labor Markets," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in Historical Perspective, pages 65-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Edmonds, Eric V., 2002. "Government-initiated community resource management and local resource extraction from Nepal's forests," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 89-115, June.
    5. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Susan Pozo, 2006. "Migration, Remittances, and Male and Female Employment Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 222-226, May.
    6. Mckenzie, David & Rapoport, Hillel, 2007. "Network effects and the dynamics of migration and inequality: Theory and evidence from Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 1-24, September.
    7. Quy-Toan Do & Lakshmi Iyer, 2010. "Geography, poverty and conflict in Nepal," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 47(6), pages 735-748, November.
    8. Woodruff, Christopher & Zenteno, Rene, 2007. "Migration networks and microenterprises in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 509-528, March.
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    11. HwaJung Choi, 2007. "Are Remittances Insurance? Evidence from Rainfall Shocks in the Philippines," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 219-248, May.
    12. Michael Lokshin & Mikhail Bontch-Osmolovski & Elena Glinskaya, 2010. "Work-Related Migration and Poverty Reduction in Nepal," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 323-332, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ashraf, Jawaid & Pandey, Rajiv & de Jong, Wil, 2017. "Assessment of bio-physical, social and economic drivers for forest transition in Asia-Pacific region," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 35-44.
    2. Ian G. Baird & Jefferson Fox, 2015. "How Land Concessions Affect Places Elsewhere: Telecoupling, Political Ecology, and Large-Scale Plantations in Southern Laos and Northeastern Cambodia," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(2), pages 1-18, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Population Policies; Environmental Economics&Policies; Forestry; Climate Change and Environment; Wildlife Resources;

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