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
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  • Poverty and Productivity in Female-Headed Households in Zimbabwe

    Horrell and Krishnan (2008)

    Original abstract:

    A household survey conducted in rural Zimbabwe in 2001 is used to compare the position of de facto and de jure female-headed households to those with a male head. These households are characterised by different forms of poverty that impinge on their ability to improve agricultural productivity. However, once inputs are accounted for, it is only for growing cotton that female- headed households' productivity is lower than that found for male-headed households. General poverty alleviation policies will benefit the female-headed household but specific interventions via extension services and access to marketing consortia are also indicated.

    Intervention settings: Rural.

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: OLS and Heckman selection model.

    Sample: 300 households (69 female-headed).

    Findings: Compares the position of de facto and de jure female headed households to male headed households. Initially perceived differences in agricultural productivity disappear when inputs are taken into account, particularly land holdings.

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  • Does ICT Benefit the Poor? Evidence from South Africa.

    Klonner and Nolen (2008)

    Original abstract:

    We study the economic effects of the roll-out of mobile phone network coverage in rural South Africa. We address identification issues which arise from the fact that network roll-out cannot be viewed as an exogenous process to local economic development. We combine spatially coded data from South Africa's leading network provider with annual labor force surveys. We use terrain properties to construct an instrumental variable that allows us to identify the causal effect of network coverage on economic outcomes under plausible assumptions. We found substantial effects of cell phone network roll-out on labor market outcomes with remarkable gender-specific differences. Employment increases by 15 percentage points when a locality receives network coverage. A gender-differentiated analysis shows that most of this effect is due to increased employment by women. Household income increases in a pro-poor way when cellular infrastructure is provided.

    Intervention settings: Rural

    Intervention description: Extension of mobile phone network.

    Methodology: Instrumental variable estimation.

    Sample: Data from two nationally representative household surveys.

    Findings: Employment increases by 15 percentage points, with most of the effect concentrated in females. Positive effect on household income among households with no children. No effect on average household income or moderate poverty. Reduces severe poverty.

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  • Joint Titling: A Win-Win Policy? Gender and Property Rights in Urban Informal Settlements in Chandigarh, India

    Datta (2006)

    Original abstract:

    This article extends the debate on gender and property rights that has previously focused on agricultural land in rural areas to housing in urban areas. Specifically, it explores the impact of joint titling of houses on women's empowerment in urban informal settlements in Chandigarh, India. Property rights increase women's participation in decision making, access to knowledge and information about public matters, sense of security, self-esteem, and the respect that they receive from their spouses. Women display a higher attachment to their houses than men, especially after getting joint titles, because houses play a valuable role in fulfilling women's practical and strategic gender needs. This increased attachment to the house helps reduce property turnover in regularized settlements, hence assisting the government in attaining its goals and making joint titling a win-win policy.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Interviews, focus groups, simple logit regressions.

    Sample: 200 individuals (55% women).

    Findings: Jointly owned land increased various measures of autonomy for poor urban women, including: their participation in household decision-making, access to information about financial matters, self-esteem and respect they received from their husbands.

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  • Is Land Titling in Sub-Saharan Africa Cost-Effective? Evidence from Madagascar

    Jacoby and Minten (2007)

    Original abstract:

    Formalizing land rights has been promoted as a way to encourage agricultural investment and stimulate land markets, yet little is known about the benefits of such policies in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the preconditions for success are less favorable. The analysis uses a large sample of plots from an intensively titled rice-growing area of Madagascar and compares land-specific investments, land productivity, and land values for titled and untitled plots cultivated by the same household. Having a title has no significant effect on plot-specific investment and correspondingly little effect on land productivity and land values. These results are broadly consistent with a simulation of a theoretical model of investment under expropriation risk calibrated to the same data. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that the current system of formal titling should not be extended in rural Madagascar and that any new system of land registration would have to be quite inexpensive to be worthwhile.

    Intervention settings: Rural: Lac Alaotra region.

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Household-level fixed effects estimation using cross-section data on multiple plots per household.

    Sample: 1,700 households owning 2,652 owner-cultivated rice plots in 38 communes.

    Findings: Land titling has only a modest (+6%) effect on land values. Land titling has no significant effect on land-related investment or productivity.

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  • The impact of mobile phone coverage expansion on market participation: panel data evidence from Uganda

    Muto and Yamano (2008)

    Original abstract:

    Uganda has experienced recently a rapid increase of area covered by mobile phone. As the information flow increases due to the mobile phone coverage expansion, the cost in crop marketing is expected to decrease, particularly more so for perishable crops, such as banana, in remote areas. We use panel data of 856 households in 94 communities, where the number of the communities covered by the mobile phone network increased from 41 to 87 communities over a two-year period between the first and second surveys in 2003 and 2005, respectively. We find that the proportion of the banana farmers who sold banana increased from 50 to 69 percent in the communities more than 20 miles away from district centers after the expansion of the mobile phone coverage. For maize, which is another staple but less perishable crop, we find that mobile phone coverage did not affect market participation. These results suggest that mobile phone coverage expansion induces market participation of farmers who are located in remote areas and produce perishable crop.

    Intervention settings: Rural.

    Intervention description: Expansion of mobile phone coverage.

    Methodology: Fixed-effects instrumental variable estimation.

    Sample: Households in 94 communities where information was collected about men and women in HH.

    Findings: Participation of farmers in marketing bananas (a perishable crop) increased from 50-69% in communities more than 20 kilometers from district centers. No effect on participation of maize marketing (a less perishable crop).

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