Poverty, social preference for employment, and natural resource depletion

Y. H. Farzin*, K. I. Akao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We show that in poor resource-based communities, the socio-psychological preference for employment, which arises from a strong desire to follow the communal norm of sharing in harvesting efforts, can lead to the optimality of full-employment harvesting until resource extinction. We show that such communities may be able to sustain both their natural resources and full employment by using outside-the-community employment opportunities or by economic diversification. However, to be effective, such policies must ensure that the outside wage rate and the initial capital stock are above certain minimum levels which depend on the existing size of the resource stock, the characteristics of the community’s harvesting technology, and the biological growth characteristics of the resource in question, and which will be higher the longer the remedial policies are delayed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Economics and Policy Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan


  • Communal norm
  • Full employment
  • Resource extinction
  • Social preference for work
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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