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Heterogeneity and Common Pool Resources: Collective Management of Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India

By Sirisha C. Naidu

Abstract

This paper explores the role of group heterogeneity in collective action among forest communities in northwestern Himalayas. Based on data from 54 forest communities in Himachal Pradesh, India, this paper finds that heterogeneity has at least three dimensions: wealth, social identity and interest in the resource, and each may significantly affect collective actions related to natural resource management. However, their effects are far from simple and linear. The empirical results suggest that cooperation need not depend on caste parochialism, that very high levels of wealth heterogeneity can reduce cooperation, and that there can be a divergence between ability and incentive to cooperate which reduces the level of cooperation in the community.common pool resources, group outcomes, heterogeneity, forests, Himachal Pradesh

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