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Impact of Risk and Time Preferences on Responses to Forest Tenure Land Reform: Empirical Evidence From Fujian, China

Publication Date:
Jan 2010
Project Programs:
Behavioral Economics

In an effort to stem ongoing degradation of the world’s forests, many developing countries have implemented property right reforms that transfer responsibility for these resources from the state to communities and individuals, who can then make their own decisions in managing and harvesting the forests. The goal of such reforms is to encourage sustainable resource use; however, too often reform efforts have failed to achieve this goal (Bromley 1989; Ostrom 1990; Alston et al. 1999; Bohn and Deacon 2000). Contrary to the goal of the reform, individuals with a strong preference for immediate benefits or who are unwilling to take future risks (both of which are common among the poor) may invest less in their forest resources or use the forest resources faster even when given stronger property rights.

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