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Article

Conservation Payments, Off-Farm Labor, and Ethnic Minorities: Participation and Impact of the Grain for Green Program in China

by 1, 1, 1,* and 2
1
School of Economics, Renmin University of China, 59 Zhongguancun Street, Beijing 100872, China
2
National School of Development, Peking University, 5 Yiheyuan Road, Beijing 100871, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041183
Received: 25 January 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 14 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Degradation and Sustainable Management of Land)
The Grain for Green program in China, a nationwide cropland set-aside program aimed at soil erosion prevention and poverty alleviation, was begun in 1999 and quickly expanded to 25 provinces, covering 32 million households. Its effects on participating households are well studied, but the role of ethnic characteristics is less well investigated. Given the overlap of areas covered by Grain for Green and areas inhabited by ethnic minorities, where development is a long-unresolved problem, it is important to determine how ethnic minorities react to, and benefit from, the Grain for Green program. This study investigates participation in the program by ethnic minorities and estimates its impact on their off-farm labor supply, compared with that of the ethnic majority, Han. We find that ethnic minorities were more likely to participate in the program, but enrolled similar area of land per household. However, ethnic minorities did not increase off-farm labor supply after participation in Grain for Green, while Han participants increased their off-farm labor supply significantly. These findings raise concerns that Grain for Green may have widened the income gap between Han and ethnic minorities. This study also provides important policy implications on sustainable land management for less-developed regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: Grain for Green; off-farm labor; ethnic minorities; difference-in-difference method; land degradation; sustainable land management Grain for Green; off-farm labor; ethnic minorities; difference-in-difference method; land degradation; sustainable land management
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MDPI and ACS Style

Xie, L.; Zeng, B.; Jiang, L.; Xu, J. Conservation Payments, Off-Farm Labor, and Ethnic Minorities: Participation and Impact of the Grain for Green Program in China. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1183. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041183

AMA Style

Xie L, Zeng B, Jiang L, Xu J. Conservation Payments, Off-Farm Labor, and Ethnic Minorities: Participation and Impact of the Grain for Green Program in China. Sustainability. 2018; 10(4):1183. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041183

Chicago/Turabian Style

Xie, Lunyu, Bohan Zeng, Li Jiang, and Jintao Xu. 2018. "Conservation Payments, Off-Farm Labor, and Ethnic Minorities: Participation and Impact of the Grain for Green Program in China" Sustainability 10, no. 4: 1183. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041183

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