Skip to main content

2001-04-02 | Peer Reviewed

The effect of environmental good scarcity on own-farm labor allocation: The case of agricultural households in rural Nepal

. 1999. “The effect of environmental good scarcity on own-farm labor allocation: the case of agricultural households in rural Nepal.” Environment and Development Economics :4: 443-469.
Download reference

As environmental goods such as fuelwood and fodder become more scarce, rural households in developing countries spend more time in their collection. It has been suggested that as a result households may reallocate labor away from own-farm agricultural production.

This paper examines whether this is the case for a sample of agricultural households from rural Nepal. Cross-sectional estimates of agricultural labor demand equations give some indication that reallocation away from farm work may occur as environmental products become more scarce. However, these results disappear in random-effects estimation suggesting that time is instead reallocated from other activities or leisure. What little evidence there is for a labor reallocation from agriculture suggests that policies to relieve environmental good collection labor burdens should focus on leaf fodder and grass used as livestock feed rather than on fuelwood.