What drives livelihoods' strategies in rural areas? Evidence from the Tridom Conservation Landscape using Spatial Probit Analysis.
Very few scientific studies have focused on the determinants of households' livelihoods' strategies in the Congo Basin. The aim of this paper is to understand which factors drive the choice of portfolio activities in rural regions. More precisely, the role of human, financial, natural and location assets in the portfolio choice is investigated. A unique dataset is used from our recent survey with 1035 random and stratified households in 108 villages of the Tridom landscape to investigate household preferences between (1) specialization and diversification strategies, (2) land-conversion and non-land-conversion activities, and (3) between strategies relying on forest vs other strategies. Our results show significant similarities on the likelihood of households living in the same neighborhood to prefer a given livelihoods strategy. Beside socioeconomic characteristics, the existence of human-wildlife conflict, as well as the indigenousness, directly leads household's heads to make the choice of diversified strategies, or to choose activities related to land-conversion. These choices lead to some significant spillover effects on the likelihood of neighboring household's heads to adopt the same strategies.