Journal of Forest Economics > Vol 36 > Issue 1-2

Impact of Nature Reserves on Human Well-being – Evidence from Giant Panda Reserves in China

Jinyu Shen, South China Agricultural Universityy, China, Nicholas J. Hogarth, Viikki Tropical Resources Institute (VITRI) and HELSUS, University of Helsinki, Finland, Yilei Hou, Beijing Forestry University, China, Wei Duan, South China Agricultural University, China,
Suggested Citation
Jinyu Shen, Nicholas J. Hogarth, Yilei Hou and Wei Duan (2021), "Impact of Nature Reserves on Human Well-being – Evidence from Giant Panda Reserves in China", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 36: No. 1-2, pp 79-101.

Publication Date: 10 Feb 2021
© 2021 J. Shen, N. J. Hogarth, Y. Hou and W. Duan
Human well-beingImpact evaluationSeemingly unrelated regressionNature reserveGiant panda


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In this article:
1. Introduction 
2. Study Area 
3. Materials and Methods 
4. Results 
5. Discussion and conclusion 
Appendix: Description of selected giant panda NRs 


The potential impact of nature reserves (NRs) on human well-being has been widely debated, while the results are still uncertain due to methodological challenges, data limitations, and underdeveloped theoretical framework. This study uses a seemingly unrelated regression (SUR) model to assess giant panda reserves’ impacts on human well-being. Using cross-sectional data of 714 households from both inside and outside of 14 giant panda reserves in Shaanxi and Sichuan provinces, we examined the impact of NRs on five dimensions of human well-being. Findings suggest that overall human well-being and the sub-dimensions of basic material for good life, good social relations, and the freedom of choice wellbeing are significantly higher for households living outside panda reserves than those living inside. In contrast, security was higher for households inside the reserves compared to outside. The results also indicate that households living inside the national-level NRs are significantly more satisfied with their basic material for good life and security than those living outside of national-level NRs. Furthermore, the negative impacts of the NRs on human well-being are relieved as the time since establishment increase.



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