Heterogeneity and Common Pool Resources: Collective Management of Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India

University of Massachusetts, Amherst Resource Economics Working Paper No. 2005-8

34 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2005

See all articles by Sirisha Naidu

Sirisha Naidu

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - College of Natural Resources & the Environment - Department of Resource Economics; Wright State University - Raj Soin College of Business - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 2005

Abstract

In the past two decades, theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that communities of resource users are capable of overcoming social dilemmas, and are capable of creating and sustaining institutions designed to prevent degradation of common pool natural resources. However, there is incomplete understanding of what motivates this group-level behavior and why some communities are better adept at solving collective action problems than others. This paper specifically explores the role of group heterogeneity in collective action among forest communities in the northwestern Himalayas. Heterogeneity can have important social and ecological consequences and understanding both its nature and effects can help in neutralizing the negative and enhancing the positive. Based on data from 54 forest communities in Himachal Pradesh, India, this paper finds that heterogeneity has at least three dimensions: wealth, identity and interest, and each may significantly affect collective actions related to natural resource management. However, their effects are far from simple and linear.

Keywords: common pool resources, group outcomes, heterogeneity, forests

JEL Classification: D63, D71, H41, Q23, Q57

Suggested Citation

Naidu, Sirisha, Heterogeneity and Common Pool Resources: Collective Management of Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India (November 2005). University of Massachusetts, Amherst Resource Economics Working Paper No. 2005-8, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=841324 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.841324

Sirisha Naidu (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts at Amherst - College of Natural Resources & the Environment - Department of Resource Economics ( email )

Stockbridge Hall
80 Campus Center Way
Amherst, MA 01003-9246
United States

Wright State University - Raj Soin College of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

3640 Col. Glenn Hwy.
Dayton, OH 45435
United States

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