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Most resource management studies model the resource in isolation from the rest of the economy of which it is part. In many developing economies, agents participate in multiple activities, creating linkages between resource exploitation and other sectors (e.g., agriculture). In Northern Honduran fishing communities, households allocate effort to fishing according to the opportunity cost of their time, which depends on returns in other activities. We develop a model that demonstrates how market structure impacts fishery exploitation. Agricultural price increases have an ambiguous effect on labor allocated to fishing because they reduce the value of labor in fishing but increase the demand for fish via an income effect. The size and magnitude of impacts depend strongly on the tradability of inputs and outputs in the community economy. The findings point to a need to account for economic linkages and market structure when designing policies to reduce pressure on a natural resource.
Conservationists promote non-timber forest products (NTFP) to simultaneously alleviate poverty and conserve ecosystems. Unfortunately, little is known about how such products actually contribute to poverty alleviation, or how various complementary policies such as green marketing campaigns or cooperative management might impact resource health and users' welfare. This paper develops a simple NTFP extraction model that focuses on spatial and labor market dimensions of use in both managed and unmanaged settings. The model contrasts patterns of spatial use, resource health, and income generation under open access and community-managed institutions. We then test the conceptual model by investigating the case of xate production in the rainforest of Chiapas, Mexico, using survey work conducted over two separate periods. The empirical investigation reveals spatial patterns and labor market outcomes predicted by the model. We find NTFP use is mainly conducted by households with low opportunity costs of time and fewer income generation opportunities.