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.

  • 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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  • Impact of Farmer Field Schools on Agricultural Productivity and Poverty in East Africa

    Davis and others (2010)

    Original abstract:

    Farmer field schools (FFSs) are a popular education and extension approach worldwide. Such schools use experiential learning and a group approach to facilitate farmers in making decisions, solving problems, and learning new techniques. However, there is limited or conflicting evidence as to their effect on productivity and poverty, especially in East Africa. This study is unique in that it uses a longitudinal impact evaluation (difference in difference approach) with quasi-experimental methods (propensity score matching and covariate matching) together with qualitative approaches to provide rigorous evidence to policymakers and other stakeholders on an FFS project in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. The study provides evidence on participation in FFSs and on the effects of FFSs on various outcomes. The study found that younger farmers who belong to other groups, such as savings and credit groups, tended to participate in field schools. Females made up 50 percent of FFS membership. Reasons for not joining an FFS included lack of time and information. FFSs were shown to be especially beneficial to women, people with low literacy levels, and farmers with medium-size land holdings. FFS participants had significant differences in outcomes with respect to value of crops produced per acre, livestock value gain per capita, and agricultural income per capita. FFSs had a greater impact on crop productivity for those in the middle land area (land poverty) tercile. Participation in FFSs increased income by 61 percent when pooling the three countries. FFSs improved income and productivity overall, but differences were seen at the country level. Participation in FFSs led to increased production, productivity, and income in nearly all cases: Kenya, Tanzania, and at the project level (all three countries combined). The most significant change was seen in Kenya for crops (80 percent increase) and in Tanzania for agricultural income (more than 100 percent increase). A lack of significant increases in Uganda was likely due to Uganda's National Agricultural Advisory Services. When disaggregating by gender, however, female-headed households benefited significantly more than male-headed households in Uganda.

    Intervention settings: Rural.

    Intervention description: Farmer field schools with 50% female participation.

    Methodology: Difference in differences estimation with propensity score matching.

    Sample: Poor households (50% female-headed) randomly selected, with and without farmer field schools.

    Findings: FFS increased the value of crops grown and agricultural income per capita (61% in the pooled sample), especially among women.

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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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  • Asset Ownership and Egalitarian Decision Making in Dual-headed Households in Ecuador

    Deere and Twyman (2012)

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Logit models with 2010 Ecuador Household Asset Survey.

    Sample: 2,892 households (25% women-headed, 68% jointly headed, 7% male-headed).

    Findings: Women's share of couples' wealth was positively and significantly associated with the likelihood of joint decision-making regarding their decision to work and to spend income.

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