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Poverty-environment relationships under market heterogeneity: cash transfers and rural livelihoods in Zambia

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 October 2019

Kathleen Lawlor*
Affiliation:
Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Asheville, Asheville, NC, USA
Sudhanshu Handa
Affiliation:
Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Benjamin Davis
Affiliation:
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, Italy
David Seidenfeld
Affiliation:
American Institutes for Research, Washington, DC, USA
*Corresponding
*Corresponding author. E-mail: klawlor@unca.edu

Abstract

We examine the environmental impacts of a cash transfer program in rural Zambia and investigate whether variation in market access is associated with heterogeneous impacts on natural resource use. We consider households’ use of firewood, charcoal, bushmeat and land for farming, as well as their ownership of non-farm businesses. We find that cash transfers increase the likelihood of charcoal consumption as well as the amount consumed for those living close to paved roads. The transfers also enable households to increase the size of their farms and establish non-farm businesses. These impacts are most pronounced for those living far from paved roads. While remoteness is associated with farm expansion in response to the cash transfer, more education causes those receiving the transfer to decrease the size of their farms. This impact heterogeneity has important implications for sustainable development.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

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