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Inequality, Cooperation and Environmental Sustainability

by Jean-Marie Baland, Pranab Bardhan and Samuel Bowles Princeton University Press
Pub Date:
12/2006
ISBN:
9780691128795
Format:
Hbk 368 pages
Price:
AU$123.00 NZ$126.96
Product Status: Not Our Publication - we no longer distribute
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Instructors
& Academics:
Would improving the economic, social, and political condition of the world's disadvantaged people slow--or accelerate--environmental degradation? In Inequality, Cooperation, and Environmental Sustainability, leading social scientists provide answers to this difficult question, using new research on the impact of inequality on environmental sustainability.

The contributors' findings suggest that inequality may exacerbate environmental problems by making it more difficult for individuals, groups, and nations to cooperate in the design and enforcement of measures to protect natural assets ranging from local commons to the global climate. But a more equal division of a given amount of income could speed the process of environmental degradation--for example, if the poor value the preservation of the environment less than the rich do, or if the consumption patterns of the poor entail proportionally greater environmental degradation than that of the rich.

The contributors also find that the effect of inequality on cooperation and environmental sustainability depends critically on the economic and political institutions governing how people interact, and the technical nature of the environmental asset in question. The contributors focus on the local commons because many of the world's poorest depend on them for their livelihoods, and recent research has made great strides in showing how private incentives, group governance, and government policies might combine to protect these resources.

Endorsement: 'This is an excellent volume: a cutting-edge compilation that brings together a wide variety of disciplines (from anthropology to economics), methods (from village-level studies to agent-based modeling), and cases (from Colombia to India).'-- Clark Gibson, University of California, San Diego


Preface vii

CHAPTER 1: Introduction by Jean-Marie Baland, Pranab Bardhan, and Samuel Bowles 1

CHAPTER 2: Collective Action on the Commons: The Role of Inequality by Jean-Marie Baland and Jean-Philippe Platteau 10

CHAPTER 3: Inequality and Collective Action by Pranab Bardhan, Maitreesh Ghatak, and Alexander Karaivanov 36

CHAPTER 4: Adoption of a New Regulation for the Governance of

Common-Pool Resources by a Heterogeneous Population by Marco A. Janssen and Elinor Ostrom 60

CHAPTER 5: Inequality and the Governance of Water Resources in Mexico and South India by Pranab Bardhan and Jeff Dayton-Johnson 97

CHAPTER 6: Managing Pacific Salmon: The Role of Distributional Conflicts in Coastal Salish Fisheries by Sara Singleton 131

CHAPTER 7: Heterogeneity and Collective Action for Effort Regulation: Lessons from Senegalese Small-Scale Fisheries by Frederic Gaspart and Jean-Philippe Platteau 159

CHAPTER 8: Wealth Inequality and Overexploitation of the Commons: Field Experiments in Colombia by Juan-Camilo Cardenas 205

CHAPTER 9: Collective Action for Forest Conservation: Does Heterogeneity Matter? by Eswaran Somanathan, Rajagopal Prabhakar, and Bhupendra Singh Mehta 234

CHAPTER 10: Inequality, Collective Action, and the Environment: Evidence from Firewood Collection in Nepal by Jean-Marie Baland, Pranab Bardhan, Sanghamitra Das, Dilip Mookherjee, and Rinki Sarkar 246

CHAPTER 11: Gender Inequality, Cooperation, and Environmental Sustainability by Bina Agarwal 274

CHAPTER 12: Inequality and Environmental Protection by James K. Boyce 314

Index 349

This is an excellent volume: a cutting-edge compilation that brings together a wide variety of disciplines (from anthropology to economics), methods (from village-level studies to agent-based modeling), and cases (from Colombia to India). Clark Gibson, University of California, San Diego
Jean-Marie Baland is Professor of Economics at the University of Namur in Belgium. Pranab Bardhan is Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Samuel Bowles is Research Professor at the Santa Fe Institute and Professor of Economics at the University of Siena.