Turning to forestry for a way out of poverty: is formalizing property rights enough?

Krister Andersson and Diego Pacheco

in Linking the Formal and Informal Economy

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780199204762
Published online September 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603860 | DOI:

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

 Turning to forestry for a way out of poverty: is formalizing property rights enough?

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How can formal, national-level policies be structured so that they enhance rural people’s capabilities for sustained improvements of their quality of life? This paper analyses this question in the rural context, drawing upon first-hand observations of the consequences from a recent public policy reform in Bolivia’s forestry sector. It examines the effect the new legislation on forest users’ incentives to invest in forestry activities as compared to other production alternatives. Data from six smallholder communities in the tropical lowlands showed that although formalized forestry activities can be relatively profitable for smallholders, complicated acquisition rules and traditional policy bias against agricultural activities often make forestry a less attractive land use alternative.

Keywords: Bolivia; property rights; rural development; forestry

Chapter.  6402 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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