The Influence of Markets and Policy on Spatial Patterns of Non-Timber Forest Product Extraction

Elizabeth J. Z. Robinson, Jeffrey C. Williams and Heidi J. Albers


When villagers extract resources, such as fuelwood, fodder, or medicinal plants from forests, their decisions over where and how much to extract are influenced by market conditions, their particular opportunity costs of time, minimum consumption needs, and access to markets. This paper develops an optimization model of villagers’ extraction behavior that clarifies how, and under what conditions, policies that create incentives such as improved returns to extraction in a buffer zone might be used instead of adversarial enforcement efforts to protect a forest’s pristine “inner core.” (JEL Q23)

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