Does Participatory Forest Management Increase Forest Resource Use to Cope with Shocks? – Empirical Evidence from Ethiopia

Discussion Paper
1 June 2022

Abebe D. Beyene, Alemu Mekonnen, Randall Bluffstone, Yemiru Tesfaye


The government of Ethiopia has extensively adopted participatory forest management (PFM) programs. However, there is very little empirical evidence on whether PFM practices in Ethiopia enhance the capacity of rural households to cope with shocks. This study looks into whether forest income and share of forest income are higher for PFM members than non-members when faced with shocks. The study also examines the role of shocks on the decision to participate in PFM and the effect of PFM membership on forest income and share of forest income. We use household level data collected in 2018 from a large, representative sample of PFM sites and, unlike most other studies, we apply both propensity score matching and switching regression models in the analysis. Unlike most other studies, our findings show that forest income and share of forest income are not responsive to either idiosyncratic or covariate shocks for either PFM participants or non-participants. However, we find that households are more likely to become PFM members if they have experienced economic shocks. Considering the role of forest income in general (not specifically during a time of shocks), we find that PFM participants obtain more forest income than non- participants, but that the share of forest income in total income is higher for non-participants.   Keywords: PFM, shocks, forests, rural Ethiopia, switching regression 

Publication reference
EfD Discussion Paper 22-12
Publication | 23 June 2022