Economic changes and afforestation incentives in rural China 1
This paper uses provincial macro-data from the mid 1980s onwards to investigate the determinants of land-use choice in rural China, by paying particular attention to the decision to plant trees as competing with agriculture. The evidence supports the importance of economic motivations in the afforestation decision. A profit-seeking behavior is found to be at stake in the decision to plant trees, which is made according to both the relative profitability of forestry against agriculture, and their relative risks. Afforestation is also found to strongly depend on the pressure upon land as well as on household wealth.(Published Online October 2 2006)
1 This paper is drawn from a research program on ‘Economic Growth and Sustainable Forest Management in China’ funded by the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS, France). The authors wish to express their gratitude to Li Junqing, Pascal Marty, and Jean-Luc Peyron for their precious collaboration in undertaking the whole research program and to Belton Fleisher, Martin Fournier, Mbolatiana Rambonilaza, and Xu Jintao for useful comments on earlier versions of the paper. We are also grateful to two anonymous referees for valuable comments and suggestions. We remain solely responsible for errors and omissions.