Fishing and Nonfishing Income Decisions: The Role of Human Capital and Family Structure

Shaikh M.S.U. Eskander, Edward B. Barbier and Benjamin Gilbert


Resource-dependent households often diversify their income. We model demand for remittances and supply of off-resource labor as a joint decision, and discuss household trade-offs. We extend the off-farm labor supply literature to a rural fishery, contrasting our results to common findings in the farm literature and providing empirical evidence of the interdependence between education and family structure in determining income diversification. Using a unique dataset from Malaysia, we find that more-educated households are less likely to diversify their income, with caveats depending on family composition. Policy implications for resource management in a remittance economy with alternative livelihoods are discussed. (JEL Q22)

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