Joint forest management, role of communication, and harvesting behavior: evidence from field experiments in India

There has been much interest recently in promoting decentralization in the forestry sector in the belief that it would bring in downward accountability, which in turn would ensure economic efficiency, sustainability of the resource, and social and economic equity. Since local users are likely to have better knowledge of their needs and aspirations, decentralization could provide incentives for local communities to make locally informed decisions about resource use. In India, both Joint Forest Management and successive legislations since the Forest Policy of 1988 have indicated the Government