Center for Environmental Policy and Administration

Individual and Collective Rationality in Pastoral Production: Evidence from Northern Kenya.

Author:John McPeak
Date: 2005
Publication:Human Ecology. 33(2): 171-197 (2005)

This study explores the individual and collective rationality of livestock accumulation in pastoral production using data gathered in northern Kenya. Results suggest accumulating wealth in livestock even when facing the prospect of sudden dramatic loss makes sense at the household level, and that there is limited empirical support to the contention that herd accumulation at the household level imposes a cost on other households. I conclude by arguing the record of failure in pastoral development may be at least partially due to a faulty conceptual foundation, and suggest facilitating herd accumulation may offer more promise than discouraging it.


John McPeak
Center for Environmental Policy and Administration
The Maxwell School, Syracuse University
Revised 11/05/2010 07:16:39