Farming


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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  • Fertility Responses to Land Titling Programs: The Roles of Ownership Security and the Distribution of Household Assets

    Field (2003)

    Original abstract:

    This paper examines the link between intra-household allocation of ownership rights and fertility using data from a nation-wide titling program in Peru. A stated objective of the program was to improve gender inequality of property ownership by including female names on land titles. I use data from the target population of urban poor to study whether improvements in ownership equality were associated with changes in household decision-making and fertility behavior. I find that women in program regions are 50% more likely to appear as owners on property documents and 30% more likely to participate in household decision-making. My estimates indicate that land titling is also associated with a significant and sharp reduction in annual births among program beneficiaries of 21% in the year prior to the survey, and a 19% reduction in birth rates two years prior to the survey among households titled early in the program. Meanwhile, annual birth rates corresponding to children two years and older exhibit no significant differences according to whether the household resides in an early program neighborhood and is eligible for participation, consistent with the hypothesis that the program is responsible for the trend. In addition to changes in female ownership, three other channels of impact are examined: the effect of titling on household labor force participation, wealth, and tenure-security related demand for children. Instrumental variables estimates provide evidence that increases in female bargaining power are at least partially responsible for the fertility decline associated with titling.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Difference in differences with 1997 household survey (LSMS).

    Sample: 2,750 female-headed households and 4,433 women.

    Findings: Peru's national land titling program led to a significant increase in the incidence of women's names on property documents and in women's decision-making power within the home. It also led to fertility declines.

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  • Barriers to Household Risk Management: Evidence from India

    Cole et al (2012)

    Original abstract:

    Financial engineering offers the potential to significantly reduce the consumption fluctuations faced by individuals, households, and firms. Yet much of this potential remains unfulfilled. This paper studies the adoption of an innovative rainfall insurance product designed to compensate low-income Indian farmers in the event of insufficient rainfall during the primary monsoon season. We first document relatively low adoption of this new risk management product: Only 5-10 percent of households purchase the insurance, even though they overwhelmingly cite rainfall variability as their most significant source of risk. We then conduct a series of randomized field experiments to test theories of why product adoption is so low. Insurance purchase is sensitive to price, with an estimated extensive price elasticity of demand ranging between -.66 and -0.88. Credit constraints, identified through the provision of random liquidity shocks, are a key barrier to participation, a result also consistent with household self-reports. Several experiments find that trust plays an important role in the decision to purchase insurance. We find mixed evidence that subtle psychological manipulations affect purchases and no evidence that modest attempts at financial education change households' decisions to participate. Based on our experimental results, we suggest preliminary lessons for improving the design of household risk management contracts.

    Intervention settings: Rural: Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

    Intervention description: Rainfall insurance offered to farmers at different discounted prices.

    Methodology: RCT.

    Sample: AP: 2,547 land-owning households; Gujarat: 1,500 households from 100 villages, in which the participating NGO marketing the rainfall insurance operated and located within 30 kms of a rainfall station. Gender included in the model but results not reported.

    Findings: Take up strongly related to price, with estimated price elasticities ranging from -0.66 to -0.88. However, take-up was low (less than 50%) even when the price was heavily discounted. Demand appears to be constrained by liquidity.

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  • (In) Efficiency in Intra-household Allocations

    Akresh (2008)

    Original abstract:

    In years with negative rainfall shocks, households increase labour on women-controlled plots (follow up to Udry 1996).

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  • Entitled to Work: Urban Property Rights and Labor Supply in Peru

    Field (2007)

    Original abstract:

    Between 1996 and 2003, the Peruvian government issued property titles to over 1.2 million urban households, the largest titling program targeted at urban squatters in the developing world. This paper examines the labor market effects of increases in tenure security resulting from the program. To isolate the causal role of ownership rights, I make use of differences across regions induced by the timing ofthe program and differences across target populations in level of preprogram ownership rights. My estimates suggest that titling results in a substantial increase in labor hours, a shift in labor supply away from work at home to work in the outside market, and substitution of adult for child labor.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Intent to treat analysis with OLS and instrumental variable regressions with 1997 and 2000 household surveys (LSMS) with panel features.

    Sample: 2,750 households (24% female-headed).

    Findings: Increasing tenure security from the issuance of property titles to urban households enabled former squatters, especially men, to work more hours in the labor market instead of staying at home to guard their property with a resulting increase in income. Although the effect was positive for women, it was substantially larger for men.

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  • Marketing Complex Financial Products in Emerging Markets: Evidence from Rainfall Insurance in India

    Gaurav, Cole and Tobacman (2011)

    Original abstract:

    Recent financial liberalization in emerging economies has led to the rapid introduction of new financial products. Lack of experience with financial products, low levels of education, and low financial literacy may slow adoption of these products. This article reports on a field experiment that offered an innovative new financial product, rainfall insurance, to 600 small-scale farmers in India. A customized financial literacy and insurance education module communicating the need for personal financial management and the usefulness of formal hedging of agricultural production risks was offered to randomly selected farmers in Gujarat, India. The authors evaluate the effect of the financial literacy training and three marketing treatments using a randomized controlled trial. Financial education has a positive and significant effect on rainfall insurance adoption, increasing take-up from 8% to 16%. Only one marketing intervention, the money-back guarantee, has a consistent and large effect on farmers' purchase decisions. This guarantee, comparable to a price reduction of approximately 40%, increases demand by seven percentage points.

    Intervention settings: Rural: Gujarat.

    Intervention description: Farmers offered rainfall insurance, with some offered a money-back guarantee (equivalent to a 60% price discount). Half of the treatment group was also given financial literacy training in two three-hour sessions.

    Methodology: RCT.

    Sample: Small-scale land-owning farmers from rainfed villages in coastal districts; 2/3 of sample own less than 4 hectares of land. Gender included in model but gender-specific effects not reported.

    Findings: The training increased the take up by 8.1% (compared to a base take-up rate of 8%). The 60% price discount increases the base take-up rate by 6.9 percentage points.

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