The effects of road access on income generation. Evidence from an integrated conservation and development project in cameroon
Many integrated conservation and development projects use road construction to induce a shift in income activities, since road access can reduce both poverty and environmental degradation. There is, however, little empirical evidence on the effects of road access on income patterns. We contribute to existing literature by analyzing the effects of road access on income activity choice in Korup National Park, Cameroon using a difference-in-difference approach. Road access led to a rise in total household income by 38% due to higher household participation in self-employment and wage labor. We neither found an effect on income from crop farming nor on participation in hunting activities. The effects of road access can be diverse and unforeseeable. Road construction in protected areas should thus be carefully considered and planned and only be implemented when other options are not feasible.