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The Illogic of Arithmetic in Resource Management: Overpopulation, Markets and Institutions as Explanations of Forest Use in the Indian Himalayas

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Agrawal, Arun
Conference: Workshop on the Workshop
Location: Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Bloomington, IN
Conf. Date: June 16-18, 1994
Date: 1994
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/398
Sector: Forestry
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): resource management
forestry
Workshop
Himalayas
population growth
Abstract: "This paper analyzes some determinants of natural resource use by focusing on forests in the Indian Himalayas. I address one of the most controversial issues related to resource management: how, and to what extent, do population pressures affect resource use? I examine this question by analyzing the relative impact of three different variables: population levels, market forces, and institutional arrangements. In the process of investigating the relative significance of variables such as population, markets, and institutions, the paper contributes to the literature on the commons, and the decentralized management of land based natural resources. In highlighting the significance of institutional arrangements in resource management, it undermines Neo-Malthusian accounts of resource scarcity, degradation, and carrying capacity. It is perhaps best to travel to these more general issues by beginning from Kumaon--the region in the Indian Middle Himalayas where the research was conducted."

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