Working Paper

Evidence on Wealth-Improving Effects of Forest Concessions in Liberia

Date Published

May 30, 2019


Suhyun Jung, Chuan Liao, Arun Agrawal, Daniel G. Brown



Suhyun, J., Liao, C., Agrawal, A., and Brown, D. (2019). Evidence on Wealth-Improving Effects of Forest Concessions in Liberia. AidData Working Paper #76. Williamsburg, VA: AidData at William & Mary.

Update: A revised version of this paper has been published in the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.


The effects of resource-led development on local people’s wellbeing are disputed. Using four rounds of Demographic and Health Survey data in Liberia, we find that households living closer to active forest concessions achieved a higher asset-based wealth score compared to those living farther away. These wealth-improving effects did not stem, however, from the direct employment effects of concessions. Rather, evidence suggests that indirect general equilibrium effects related to demand for goods and services and increased employment in all-year and non-subsistence jobs are the main channels. Our study underlines potential wealth-improving effects of resource-led development in poor countries, thereby contributing to the literature on wellbeing impacts of resource-led development on local people.

Funding: The authors acknowledge funding support from National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under grant NNX15AD40G.

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