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Ethnic Diversity and Forest Commons

May 5, 2022

Kuala Lumpur Research Seminar Series

  • The management of forest commons requires coordination within a community and between communities. This coordination is usually challenging given the incentives to free ride on the use of a valuable common resource, creating social dilemmas. Recent literature suggests that these dilemmas are more likely to arise in communities with heterogeneous members, particularly from different ethnic groups. In this paper, we propose a new approach to define common forest units within the areas of exclusively shared territory between pairs of neighboring villages using second-order Voronoi polygons. We adapt dyadic regression methods using data from the majority of villages in rural Gambia. Our results suggest that areas shared by communities with similar ethnic distribution do not differ in forest cover and deforestation (in a period of 15 years) in comparison to areas shared by ethnically distant communities. Therefore, we do not find evidence that ethnic diversity implies degradation of forest commons. We suggest that previous results may be biased due to unobserved heterogeneity at the village-level, which we can control with our empirical strategy.

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  • Dany Jaimovich is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Talca and an Academic Director of the PhD in Economics program. Between 2011 and 2018,  Danny served as Assistant Professor at the chair of International Economic Policy, Goethe University Frankfurt. He obtained a PhD in Economics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies of Geneva in 2011 and a Master and a B.A. in Economics from Universidad de Chile.My research areas are Development Economics and Economic History. I have recently focused on topics related to conflicts, environment, indigenous groups, land reform and economic networks. His work has been published in international journals such as the Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of International Economics, World Development and the Review of International Organizations. He was a (pre-doc) research fellow at the Inter-American Development Bank (2004-05) and have worked as consultant for the World Bank, the IMF and other international organizations. He have organized field work in different countries, including The Gambia, Morocco, Senegal and Vietnam. Currently, he is also a principal investigator of the Mapuche Data Project, a researcher at the Millennium Institute for Research in Market Imperfections and Public Policy and a board member of the Espacio Publico think tank.


  • WHEN (Kuala Lumpur Time): Thursday, May 5, 2022: 9:00 -10:00am
  • WHEN (Washington D.C. Time): Wednesday, May 4, 2022: 9:00 – 10:00pm