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Characteristics and Determinants of Livelihood Diversification of Different Household Types in Far Northwestern China

Xuhuan Dai (), Zhilong Wu (), Yao Fan (), Bo Li (), Zihan Yang (), Bo Nan () and Xu Bi ()
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Xuhuan Dai: School of Natural Resources, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Zhilong Wu: Institute of Ecological Civilization, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang 330013, China
Yao Fan: School of Natural Resources, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Bo Li: School of Natural Resources, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Zihan Yang: School of Natural Resources, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Bo Nan: School of Natural Resources, Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
Xu Bi: College of Resources and Environment, Shanxi University of Finance and Economics, Taiyuan 030006, China

Sustainability, 2019, vol. 12, issue 1, 1-20

Abstract: Livelihood diversification is beneficial to mitigate economic and environmental risks and to improve livelihood sustainability and regional sustainable development. Unsettled herder households (UHH), settled herder households (SHH) and farmer households (FH) are different household types in far northwestern China whose livelihood diversification has not been fully explored. By applying a framework of livelihood diversification, this paper presents a comparative analysis of the characteristics and determinants of the diversification of the three household types. The results show that livelihood assets have been unequally distributed, with FH possessing the least assets; however, FH are better than UHH and SHH in the diversification of livelihood activities. Agriculture remains the most important livelihood source. The high-income groups of the three household types have a higher number of livelihood activities but do not necessarily hold an advantage in equality of livelihood activities. Labor capacity and income are positively related to the number of livelihood activities for the three household types. Livestock size is negatively associated with the number of activities of herders. Moreover, age and subsidy have negative impacts on the number of activities for UHH. Based on the findings, we provide policy suggestions on livelihood enhancement and sustainable and effective development of pastoral regions.

Keywords: livelihood diversification; pastoral region; household comparison; livelihood assets; subsidy; sustainable livelihoods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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