Seeing the forest for the fuel
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We demonstrate a new approach to understanding the role of fuelwood in the rural household economy by applying insights from travel cost modeling to author-compiled household survey data and meso-scale environmental statistics from Ruteng Park in Flores, Indonesia. We characterize Manggarai farming households' fuelwood collection trips as inputs into household production of the utility yielding service of cooking and heating. The number of trips taken by households depends on the shadow price of fuelwood collection or the travel cost, which is endogenous. Econometric analyses using truncated negative binomial regression models and correcting for endogeneity show that the Manggarai are 'economically rational' about fuelwood collection and access to the forests for fuelwood makes substantial contributions to household welfare. Increasing cost of forest access, wealth, use of alternative fuels, ownership of kerosene stoves, trees on farm, park staff activity, primary schools and roads, and overall development could all reduce dependence on collecting fuelwood from forests. © 2004 Cambridge University Press.
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Juli Plant Grainger Professor of Global Environmental Health
Randall Kramer is the Juli Plant Grainger Professor of Global Environmental Health in the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Duke Global Health Institute. Before coming to Duke in 1988, he was on the faculty at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has held visiting positions at IUCN--The World Conservation Union, the Economic Growth Center at Yale University, and the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, World Heal
Oak Foundation Professor of Environmental and Energy Policy
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