Original abstracts from the papers in the database are provided below. All abstracts are drawn directly from the papers referenced. Links to access the papers are provided, although
the papers may also be available from other web sources. By providing links to other sites, the United Nations Foundation and ExxonMobil Foundation do not guarantee, approve, or endorse the information or products available on these sites.

  • Strengthening Economic Rights and Women's Occupational Choice The Impact of Reforming Ethiopia's Family Law

    Hallward-Driemeier and Gajigo (2011)

    Intervention settings: Nationwide

    Intervention description: Reform of Ethiopia's 2000 Family Code: Raised the minimum age of marriage for women, removed the ability of the husband to deny permission for the wife to work outside the home and required both spouses' consent in the administration of marital property.

    Methodology: Difference in using DHS survey data collected in Ethiopia in 2000 and 2005.

    Sample: 15,367 women (14,070 in follow-up).

    Findings: Women more likely to work in occupations that require work outside the home, in paid and full-time jobs, and in higher-paid positions. Effect of law seems strongest for young, single women, which seems to be from the increase in the legal age of marriage from 15 to 18 years.

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  • Selling Formal Insurance to the Informally Insured

    Mobarak and Rosezweig (2012)

    Original abstract:

    Unpredictable rainfall is an important risk for agricultural activity, and farmers in developing countries often receive incomplete insurance from informal risk-sharing networks. We study the demand for, and effects of, offering formal index-based rainfall insurance through a randomized experiment in an environment where the informal risk sharing network can be readily identified and richly characterized: sub-castes in rural India. A model allowing for both idiosyncratic and aggregate risk shows that informal networks lower the demand for formal insurance only if the network indemnifies against aggregate risk, but not if its primary role is to insure against farmer-specific losses. When formal insurance carries basis risk (mismatches between payouts and actual losses due to the remote location of the rainfall gauge), informal risk sharing that covers idiosyncratic losses enhance the benefits of index insurance. Formal index insurance enables households to take more risk even in the presence of informal insurance. We find substantial empirical support of these nuanced predictions of the model by conducting the experiment (randomizing both index insurance offers, and the locations of rainfall gauges) on castes for whom we have a rich history of group responsiveness to household and aggregate rainfall shocks.

    Intervention settings: Rural: Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

    Intervention description: Rainfall insurance offered to farmers at actuarially fair or discounted prices.

    Methodology: RCT.

    Sample: Cultivator HH from 42 villages randomly selected for a large previous rural survey. Gender of farmers not specified but assumed to include females.

    Findings: Take up rate very low (about 40% overall). However, additional follow-up data collected in Tamil Nadu indicate that households offered rainfall insurance at discounted prices tended to plant more higher yielding and less drought-resistant varieties.

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  • Rural Land Certification in Ethiopia: Process, Initial Impact, and Implications for Other African Countries

    Deininger, Ali, Holden, and Zevenbergen (2008)

    Original abstract:

    Although many African countries have recently adopted highly innovative and pro-poor land laws, lack of implementation thwarts their potentially far-reaching impact on productivity, poverty reduction, and governance. We use a representative household survey from Ethiopia where, over a short period, certificates to more than 20 million plots were issued to decribe the certification process, explore its incidence and preliminary impact, and quantify the costs. While this provides many suggestions to ensure sustainability and enhance impact, Ethiopia's highly cost-effective first-time registration process provides important lessons.

    Intervention settings: Nationwide.

    Intervention description: Rural land certification.

    Methodology: Probit, Tobit.

    Sample: 2,300 households (16% women-headed) in 115 villages (kebeles).

    Findings: Land was registered with rapid speed, in a participatory nature, and at low cost. The process did not favor the wealthy and was not biased against women. Study was preliminary and descriptive, and did not show detailed evidence of certification impacts on productivity and land market behavior.

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  • Land Management in Rural China and Its Gender Implications

    Hare et al. (2007)

    Original abstract:

    Women are an important mainstay of agricultural production in China, though their access to land is characterized by even greater ambiguity than that of their male counterparts. As part of its path toward liberalization, China undertook agricultural land management policy reforms that were aimed at increasing the security of land tenure rights, but these reforms have paradoxically exacerbated the uncertainty surrounding women's claims to land. Utilizing sample survey data collected from 412 rural households in Shaanxi and Hunan provinces in 2002, this paper documents and analyzes gender differences in land allocations. The findings of this study shed light on the degree to which community characteristics coupled with current local practices (such as frequency of reallocation) influence gender disparities. Results suggest that a growing number of women experience loss of contract land coincident with marrying, and this trend may be expected to increase given the current direction of land policy.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Logit and hazard models with 2002 household survey.

    Sample: 412 households (Shaanxi and Hunan provinces).

    Findings: Landlessness among women in China's low-income households is associated with less decision-making authority and suggests a reduced status within their households. China's land management policy reforms after 1978, which shifted land use rights from collectives to households, have resulted in a higher incidence of landlessness among married women.

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  • Zap It to Me: The Short-Term Impacts of a Mobile Cash Transfer Program

    Aker and others (2011)

    Intervention settings: Rural: Tahoua region.

    Intervention description: Use of mobile phones to distribute unconditional cash transfers in targeted villages.

    Methodology: RCT.

    Sample: Recipient households in 96 villages.

    Findings: Participants in the Zap program incurred significantly fewer costs in the process of obtaining the cash transfer as compared to the placebo group or the manual cash transfer group. Zap program recipients saved approximately 30 minutes of time not spent traveling for each transfer, a total of 2.5 hours over the duration of the program. Zap HHs compared to both the manual transfer group and the placebo group purchased on average .86 more types food and non-food items with the cash transfer. (Finding was statistically significant and shows that the m-transfer encourages a larger variety of purchases.) These spending trends do not carry over into the analysis of health and school fee expenditures made with the transfer. (There are no statistically significant differences between the groups in spending on health or education.) HH diet diversity is .16 points higher in Zap villages as compared with placebo villages. (There was no statistically significant difference between the levels of consumption of staple foods but there were notable and statistically significant differences among consumption of fruit and fats.) No statistically significant differences across groups. No statistically significant differences among program types in ownership of durable assets HHs in the Zap program villages had on average .15 more non-durable assets as compared to the placebo group. (This finding suggests that "zap households were selling non-durable assets less frequently than those in placebo or cash villages.") Zap villages on average grew .36 more types of crops than those in the placebo villages. (Findings are driven by an increased likeliness for Zap village households to engage in female produced cash crops such as vouandzou and okra production.) No differences among groups in levels of spending for school fees or spending in markets outside the village.

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