Essays in the economics of development and environment in Nepal

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Economics and Business Management


This thesis contains four independent chapters. “Households in times of war” analyses short- and medium-term consequences of the Nepal civil war on rural households’ choices in terms of production and consumption. It emphasizes the differential impact of the conflict between high castes and other households. During the war, inequalities between groups went down but after three years of peace, high castes recovered quickly and continue to hold the upper hand.

“Firewood collection, forest degradation and economic growth” addresses the household determinants of firewood collection, the impact of village level collections on forest cover and the reaction of households to a change in nearby forest biomass. It features that the transition out of agricultural activities in rural areas drives the stabilization of forest conditions in Nepal.

“Success and failure of communities managing natural resources” is a theoretical exercise on resource management by a community which has a limited ability to monitor and punish its members. The model shows that rules preventing dynamic inefficiencies may exist even though static inefficiencies still remain.

“Encouraging private ownership of public goods” combines theory and empirics. It first builds a model in which a government subsidizes the acquisition by non-profits of assets allowing the provision of public goods. The model analyses the effect of these subsidies on the asset market, namely land of high environmental value. It then tests the model using data from Wallonia, Belgium, where non-profits received subsidies to buy land and create protected natural areas.

François Libois completed his PhD in economics at the University of Namur in 2016. He has been a visiting PhD student at Boston University in 2010 and at the Paris School of Economics in 2014. As applied microeconomist, his primary fields of research are development and
environment economics.
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SupervisorJean-Marie BALAND (Supervisor), Mathias HUNGERBUHLER (President), Jean-Philippe PLATTEAU (Jury), Vincenzo Verardi (Jury), Karen Macours (Jury) & Peter Lanjouw (Jury)


  • nepal
  • civil war
  • labour
  • Migration
  • income distribution
  • forest degradation
  • growth
  • natural resource
  • community
  • wallonia
  • non-profit organization
  • conservation

Attachment to an Research Institute in UNAMUR

  • DeFiPP

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