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

50 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2018

See all articles by Branko Bošković

Branko Bošković

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law

Ujjayant Chakravorty

Tufts University

Martino Pelli

Université de Sherbrooke; University of Montreal - Center for Interuniversity Research in Econometrics; Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO)

Anna Risch

University Grenoble Alpes

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Date Written: July 6, 2018

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: Energy Access, Cooking Fuels, Deforestation, Forest Cover, Fuelwood Collection

JEL Classification: D10, O13, Q42

Suggested Citation

Bošković, Branko and Chakravorty, Ujjayant and Pelli, Martino and Risch, Anna, The Effect of Forest Access on the Market for Fuelwood in India (July 6, 2018). FEEM Working Paper No. 21.2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3209163 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3209163

Branko Bošković

University of Alberta - Department of Marketing, Business Economics & Law ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

Ujjayant Chakravorty (Contact Author)

Tufts University ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Martino Pelli

Université de Sherbrooke ( email )

2500, Blvd de l'Université
Sherbrooke, Quebec J1K 2R1
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/martinopelli

University of Montreal - Center for Interuniversity Research in Econometrics ( email )

C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7
Canada

Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO) ( email )

2020 rue University, 25th floor
Montreal H3C 3J7, Quebec
Canada

Anna Risch

University Grenoble Alpes ( email )

151 Rue des Universités
Saint-Martin-d'Hères, 38400
France

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