University of Michigan Gateway Ford School

Local Environmental Institutions and Participation: Analyzing Variations and Changes in Individual Environmental Beliefs

Arun Agrawal, School of Natural Resources and Environment
Daniel Brown, School of Natural Resources and Environment

A CLOSUP Major Projects Program (FY 2006) award.

Abstract:
This project investigates how participation in institutions sponsred by governments shapes individual beliefs. Specifically, the research examines local community environmental institutions in the state of Himachal Pradesh in the Indian Himalaya. The project focuses on beliefs related to forests and the environment. A simple experimental research design is used with pre- and post-treatment measurements to test whether greater particiation in environmental institutions leads to more positive beliefs about environmental conservation. The research will illimunate theoretical issues regarding whether and how institutions affect beliefs, and policy issues concerning how variations in beliefs affect costs of policy enforcement.

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