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.
Gertler, Martinez and Rubio-Codina (2012)
The authors test whether poor households use cash transfers to invest in income generating activities that they otherwise would not have been able to do. Using data from a controlled randomized experiment, they find that transfers from the Oportunidades program to households in rural Mexico resulted in increased investment in micro-enterprise and agricultural activities. For each peso transferred, beneficiary households used 88 cents to purchase consumption goods and services, and invested the rest. The investments improved the household's ability to generate income with an estimated rate of return of 17.55 percent, suggesting that these households were both liquidity and credit constrained. By investing transfers to raise income, beneficiary households were able to increase their consumption by 34 percent after five and a half years in the program. The results suggest that cash transfers to the poor may raise long-term living standards, which are maintained after program benefits end.
Intervention settings: Rural areas in 7 states: PROGRESA.
Intervention description: Conditional cash transfers.
Sample: HH from 506 communities.
Findings: Per capita consumption was 5.6% higher in treatment households even 4 years after transfers to control households were initiated. (CCTs used in part to finance productive investments.)
Environmental and Gender Impacts of Land Tenure Regularization in Africa: Pilot Evidence from RwandaAli, Deininger and Goldstein (2011)
Although increased global demand for land has led to renewed interest in African land tenure, few models to address these issues quickly and at the required scale have been identified or evaluated. The case of Rwanda's nation- wide and relatively low-cost land tenure regularization program is thus of great interest. This paper evaluates the short-term impact (some 2.5 years after completion) of the pilots undertaken to fine-tune the approach using a geographic discontinuity design with spatial fixed effects. Three key findings emerge from the analysis. First, the program improved land access for legally married women (about 76 percent of married couples) and prompted better recordation of inheritance rights without gender bias. Second, the analysis finds a very large impact on investment and maintenance of soil conservation measures. This effect was particularly pronounced for female headed households, suggesting that this group had suffered from high levels of tenure insecurity, which the program managed to reduce. Third, land market activity declined, allowing rejection of the hypothesis that the program caused a wave of distress sales or widespread landlessness by vulnerable people. Implications for program design and policy are discussed.
Intervention settings: Rural (3 locations) and peri-urban (1 location).
Intervention description: Land titling pilot covering 14,908 parcels with 3,448 hectares.
Methodology: Regression discontinuity design with spatial fixed effects.
Sample: 3,513 households (22% female-headed) drawn from both sides of the boundaries of four pilot cells.
Findings: The program improved land access for legally married women (about 76% of married couples) and prompted better recordation of inheritance rights without gender bias. The analysis finds a large impact on investment and maintenance of soil conservation measures. This effect was particularly pronounced for female headed households, suggesting that this group had suffered from high levels of tenure insecurity, which the program managed to reduce. Land market activity declined, allowing rejection of the hypothesis that the program caused a wave of distress sales or widespread landlessness by vulnerable people. No effect on the perceived risk of expropriation.
Goldstein and Udry (2008)
We examine the impact of ambiguous and contested land rights on investment and productivity in agriculture in Akwapim, Ghana. We show that individuals who hold powerful positions in a local political hierarchy have more secure tenure rights, and that as a consequence they invest more in land fertility and have substantially higher output. The intensity of investments on different plots cultivated by a given individual correspond to that individual's security of tenure over those specific plots and, in turn, to the individuals' position in the political hierarchy relevant to those specific plots.
Intervention settings: Rural: Akwapim South District, Eastern Region.
Intervention description: None.
Methodology: Household-level fixed-effects estimation.
Sample: 252 married couples; 519 plots in 4 village clusters owned by 240+ married couples; each couple was interviewed 15 times during a two-year period.
Findings: Security of tenure has an important effect on land productivity (via investments in soil fertility) and security of tenure is related to an individual's position in the political and social hierarchy, with most women relatively disadvantaged. Insecure tenure leads to substantially lower profits per hectare for women compared to men.
Karlan, Kutsoati, McMillan and Udry (2011)
Farmers face a particular set of risks that complicate the decision to borrow. We use a randomized experiment to investigate (1) the role of crop-price risk in reducing demand for credit among farmers and (2) how risk mitigation changes farmers' investment decisions. In Ghana, we offer farmers loans with an indemnity component that forgives 50 percent of the loan if crop prices drop below a threshold price. A control group is offered a standard loan product at the same interest rate. Loan uptake is high among all farmers and the indemnity component has little impact on uptake or other outcomes of interest.
Intervention settings: Rural: Eastern.
Intervention description: Farmers offered loans with or without crop price insurance and financial literacy training.
Sample: Farmers (15% female).
Findings: Take up rates were high (92% of farmers offered loans and crop price insurance, 86% of farmers offered loans only). Gender did not have a significant effect on take up.
Rural Land Certification in Ethiopia: Process, Initial Impact, and Implications for Other African CountriesDeininger, Ali, Holden, and Zevenbergen (2008)
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.