In this dissertation, I present three methods of evaluating local populations' interactions with their natural environments using household-level data from Tanzania. To date, little effort has been made to evaluate the non-market benefits of natural resources for local populations and this dissertation makes important contributions to this budding research area. First, I apply a travel cost model and estimate that households in Kagera, Tanzania are willing to pay approximately $200 per year (2012 U.S. dollars) for local community forests access, a value equal to roughly 25 percent of annual total household expenditures. Second, using a long-term panel data set I estimate that an additional hour required to collect firewood when a child is young translates into $475 (2010 USD) in lost earnings over 30 years, roughly 1.7 percent of income. Finally, I show evidence of significant interdependencies between a household's agricultural production and food consumption decisions. This inter-dependency implies that programs aimed at environmental conservation through agricultural intensification may have important unintended consequences on a household's food consumption and subsequent micronutrient levels. In sum, the results in this dissertation indicate that households in Tanzania interact with their environments in complex ways and receive significant non-market benefits from natural resources.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. July 2014. Major: Applied Economics, Advisors: Paul Glewwe, Stephen Polasky. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 162 pages, appendices A-D.
Rogers, Martha H..
Environment and development: essays on the link between household welfare and the environment in developing countries.
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