Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 27 > Issue 1

Where gathering firewood matters: Proximity and forest management effects in hedonic pricing models for rural Nepal

Mani Nepal, South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE), Nepal, , Apsara Karki Nepal, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), and International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal, Robert P. Berrens, Department of Economics, USA
Suggested Citation
Mani Nepal, Apsara Karki Nepal and Robert P. Berrens (2017), "Where gathering firewood matters: Proximity and forest management effects in hedonic pricing models for rural Nepal", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 27: No. 1, pp 28-37.

Publication Date: 0/4/2017
© 0 2017 Mani Nepal, Apsara Karki Nepal, Robert P. Berrens
JEL Codes:Q23Q51
Community forestHedonic methodHousing valueForest policyPrivate forestRural Nepal


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In this article:
Background and Related Studies 
Materials and Methods 
Results and Discussion 


A majority of rural, agricultural households in Nepal rely on forests for firewood and fodder. Access to the forest clearly matters, but might not be as simple as proximity if quality varies by management and property regime. Using two rounds (2003/2004 and 2010/2011) of nationally representative survey data for rural Nepal, we analyze the impacts of forest proximity and the type of management regimes on housing values. Results from hedonic pricing models indicate that relative to a housing unit that uses a private forest as its primary firewood source, the value of a similar housing unit using a government forest has a 10 percent (2010/11) to 20 percent (2003/04) lower value; the respective percentage reductions for a similar housing unit with community forest source are 7 to 10 percent. Given limited private forestlands, these results offer a measure of support for newly adopted collaborative and leasehold forest programs. In the former, government forests are collaboratively managed by local communities with the government, where revenues are shared equally. In the latter, degraded government forests are transferred to the rural poor for 40-year renewable terms so that households can conserve and use forest products privately.