Munich Personal RePEc Archive

A propensity score matching analysis of the relationship between forest resources and household welfare in Vietnam

Hoang Van, Cuong Van and Tran Quang, Tuyen and Nguyen Thi, Yen and Lan Nguyen, Thanh (2019): A propensity score matching analysis of the relationship between forest resources and household welfare in Vietnam. Forthcoming in: Natural Resources Forum

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Abstract

Using secondary data from a socio-economic quantitative household survey in of the North Central region of Vietnam, the main aim of our study is to analyze the causal effect of forest resources on household income and poverty. Based on the observed characteristics of a forest-based livelihood and forest-related activities, we use a propensity score matching (PSM) method to control for potential bias arising from self-selection. The PSM results indicate that households with a forest livelihood had a higher level of income and lower level of poverty than did those without. Interestingly, our findings confirm that a forest-based livelihood offers much higher income than any other type of livelihood adopted by local households. Also, the poverty rate among households with a forest livelihood is lower than those earning non-labor income or engaged in wage/crop and crop livelihoods. Moreover, households whose livelihoods depend on timber forest products (TFPs) and animals (non-TFPs) also had higher income and lower levels of poverty than did those lacking these resources. Among households and provinces, we find differing opportunities deriving from forest resources, suggesting that there are potential barriers hindering local households from pursuing a forest livelihood or participating in some forest activities. Therefore, government policy and regulations on forest management should focus on improving the access of households to forest resources, at the same time enhancing the sustainability of these resources.

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