Reasonably promoting the off-farm employment of rural surplus labor in China’s collective forest areas is an important way to increase forest resources and increase farmers’ income. China’s new round of collective forest tenure reform (CFTR) aims to optimize forest area labor allocation by strengthening forestland property rights. Therefore, in different village off-farm environments, it is necessary to explore how forestland property rights affect off-farm employment in forest areas. Based on survey data from 742 households in Zhejiang and Jiangxi provinces, this paper examines this effect using the double-hurdle model. The results indicate that forestland transfer rights promote decision-making about, and the supply of, off-farm labor, while forest harvesting rights significantly increase the supply of off-farm labor. The villages’ off-farm income ratio also affected the supply of off-farm labor. Moreover, under the regulation of the village off-farm income ratio, the positive incentives of forestland transfer rights on decision-making about, and the supply of, off-farm labor gradually weakened, but the incentive effect of forest harvesting rights on the supply of off-farm labor gradually increased. It is proposed that the CFTR should be further promoted, the forestland circulation mechanism and regulating forest harvest quota system should be improved, and implementation of forestry property mortgages should be strengthened.
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