Heterogeneity and Common Pool Resources: Collective Management of Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India

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Conference Proceeding

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This paper explores the role of group heterogeneity in collective action among forest communities in northwestern Himalayas. Based on data from 54 forest communities in Himachal Pradesh, India, this paper finds that heterogeneity has at least three dimensions: wealth, social identity and interest in the resource, and each may significantly affect collective actions related to natural resource management. However, their effects are far from simple and linear. The empirical results suggest that cooperation need not depend on caste parochialism, that very high levels of wealth heterogeneity can reduce cooperation, and that there can be a divergence between ability and incentive to cooperate which reduces the level of cooperation in the community.


This paper was presented at the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property, June 19-23, 2006 in Bali, Indonesia.