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The Effect of Forest Access on the Market for Fuelwood in India

Branko Bošković, Ujjayant Chakravorty (), Martino Pelli () and Anna Risch

Working Papers from HAL

Abstract: Fuelwood collection is often cited as the most important cause of deforestation in developing countries. Use of fuelwood in cooking is a leading cause of indoor air pollution. Using household data from India, we show that households located farther away from the forest spend more time collecting. Distant households are likely to sell more fuelwood and buy less. That is, lower access to forests increases fuelwood collection and sale. This counter-intuitive behavior is triggered by two factors: lower access to forests (a) increases the fixed costs of collecting, which in turn leads to more collection; and (b) drives up local fuelwood prices, which makes collection and sale more profitable. We quantify both these effects. Using our estimates we show that a fifth of the fuelwood collected is consumed outside of rural areas, in nearby towns and cities. Our results imply that at the margin, fuelwood scarcity may lead to increased collection and sale, and exacerbate forest degradation.

Keywords: fuelwood collection; forest cover; energy access; cooking fuels; deforestation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-04-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-dev, nep-ene, nep-env and nep-res
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02089687
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Related works:
Working Paper: The Effect of Forest Access on the Market for Fuelwood in India (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effect of Forest Access on the Market for Fuelwood in India (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effect of Forest Access on the Market for Fuelwood in India (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The Effect of Forest Access on the Market for Fuelwood in India (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: The E ect of Forest Access on the Market for Fuelwood in India (2018) Downloads
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