The Fallow and the Non-Fallow States in Swidden Agriculture: A Stochastic Analysis
Amitrajeet A. Batabyal
Rochester Institute of Technology
VU University of Amsterdam - Department of Spatial Economics; Tinbergen Institute - Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam (TIA)
January 16, 2009
RIT Economics Department Working Paper No. 09-01
At any point in time, a cleared parcel of forest land (CPFL) used for swidden agriculture exists in either the fallow or in the non-fallow state. Further, the practice of swidden agriculture requires one to operate in an environment of uncertainty. These two points notwithstanding, there are virtually no probabilistic models of swidden agriculture that explicitly account for the above dichotomy. Hence, in this paper, we use a stochastic model and a long run perspective to shed light on two hitherto unstudied questions concerning a CPFL used for swidden agriculture. First, we use renewal theory to determine the long run fraction of time that our CPFL is in either the fallow or in the non-fallow state. Second, we use the hyperexponential distribution to compute the stationary probability that the excess variable associated with the stochastic process representing our CPFL exceeds a given value.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 13
Keywords: Fallow State, Non-Fallow State, Stochastic Process, Swidden Agriculture
JEL Classification: Q15, C44working papers series
Date posted: January 19, 2009
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