Heterogeneity and Collective Management: Evidence from Common Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India

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This paper conducts a statistical investigation into the impact of differences in economic benefits, wealth, and social classes within the community on collective management of forests. There are two key results. First, social parochialism is not a pre-requisite for collective management of forests. Moderate levels of social diversity are associated with low collective management, but at high levels of social diversity, collective management is high. Second, moderate wealth heterogeneity is beneficial; however, at high levels and in the presence of benefit heterogeneity, it decreases collective management. Similarly, benefit heterogeneity reduces collective management if wealth heterogeneity also exists. These results run counter to the dominant understanding of heterogeneity but may be seen as alternate explanations under a specific socioeconomic context.



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