Tenure Security and Soil Conservation in an Overlapping Generation Rural Economy
26 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2015 Last revised: 24 Feb 2017
Date Written: November 5, 2014
Tenure security and subsistence needs influence the choice between unexploited topsoil and investment in children’s human capital as the mode of transfer of wealth. We develop an overlapping generations model of a representative rural household to inform this choice. Using a unique household-level survey dataset from Bangladesh, which contains data on soil conservation and human capital investments, we find that tenure security and poverty have statistically significant and opposite associations with conservation and human capital investments. Tenure security is associated with greater topsoil conservation investment, while the poor households have lower conservation and human capital investments. We infer that enhanced tenure security may lower the adverse consequences of poverty on soil conservation, and vice-versa. Thus, by substituting for private human capital investments such as educational expenditure, increased public expenditure on schooling may lower the pressure on land and soil resources.
Keywords: Human capital, soil conservation, subsistence, tenure security
JEL Classification: Q24, D13, D64, D91, Q15.
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