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Heterogeneity and Common Pool Resources: Collective Management of Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India

Sirisha Naidu

No 2005-8, Working Papers from University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Resource Economics

Abstract: In the past two decades, theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that communities of resource users are capable of overcoming social dilemmas, and are capable of creating and sustaining institutions designed to prevent degradation of common pool natural resources. However, there is incomplete understanding of what motivates this group-level behavior and why some communities are better adept at solving collective action problems than others. This paper specifically explores the role of group heterogeneity in collective action among forest communities in the northwestern Himalayas. Heterogeneity can have important social and ecological consequences and understanding both its nature and effects can help in neutralizing the negative and enhancing the positive. Based on data from 54 forest communities in Himachal Pradesh, India, this paper finds that heterogeneity has at least three dimensions: wealth, identity and interest, and each may significantly affect collective actions related to natural resource management. However, their effects are far from simple and linear.

Keywords: common pool resources; group outcomes; heterogeneity; forests (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D63 D71 H41 Q23 Q57 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34 pages
Date: 2005-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-cwa, nep-env, nep-pbe and nep-soc
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Working Paper: Heterogeneity and Common Pool Resources: Collective Management of Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India (2005) Downloads
Working Paper: Heterogeneity and Common Pool Resources: Collective Management of Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India (2005) Downloads
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