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
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.

  • Widowhood and Asset Inheritance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Empirical Evidence from 15 Countries

    Peterman (2012)

    Original abstract:

    Widows in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are perceived to face widespread discrimination in asset and property inheritance following the death of a spouse, leading to poverty for themselves and their children. However, large-sample empirical research directly supporting this claim is scarce. This paper explores levels, determinants and effects of asset inheritance among widows using data from two sources: 1) cross-country, nationally representative demographic and health survey (DHS) data from 15 SSA countries to assess levels and correlates of asset inheritance among ever widowed women aged 15-49; and 2) a 13-year longitudinal panel from the Kagera region in northwest Tanzania to examine the relationship between inheritance and levels of household per capita consumption and value of asset stocks. Results indicate that, across the 15 DHS countries, less than half of widows report inheriting any assets (average inheritance of any assets is 47 percent, ranging from 22 percent in Sierra Leone to 66 percent in Rwanda); the proportion reporting inheriting the majority of assets is lower (average of 32 percent, ranging from 13 percent in Sierra Leone to 60 percent in Rwanda). Across countries, inheritance is generally correlated with higher age, education and wealth, indicating that women with higher socioeconomic status may be more likely to negotiate favourable asset inheritance outcomes. Findings from Kagera indicate that the value of inheritances, especially for widows (and specifically land inheritance), is significant in determining changes in long-term household welfare when accounting for sources of unobservable community- and individual-level bias. Taken together, findings indicate a major role for creative and culturally sensitive programme design to protect widow asset inheritance through property and family law, coupled with rigorous impact evaluation to document effectiveness of these programmes.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Individual level fixed effects models.

    Sample: 8,725 widows (DHS) and 946 women in Kagera.

    Findings: Land inheritance is positively associated with higher levels of per capita household consumption and asset stocks for widows in SSA.

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  • Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya

    Duflo, Kremer and Robinson (2009)

    Original abstract:

    While many developing-country policymakers see heavy fertilizer subsidies as critical to raising agricultural productivity, most economists see them as distortionary, regressive, environmentally unsound, and argue that they result in politicized, inefficient distribution of fertilizer supply. We model farmers as facing small fixed costs of purchasing fertilizer, and assume some are stochastically present-biased and not fully sophisticated about this bias. Even when relatively patient, such farmers may procrastinate, postponing fertilizer purchases until later periods, when they may be too impatient to purchase fertilizer. Consistent with the model, many farmers in Western Kenya fail to take advantage of apparently profitable fertilizer investments, but they do invest in response to small, time-limited discounts on the cost of acquiring fertilizer (free delivery) just after harvest. Later discounts have a smaller impact, and when given a choice of price schedules, many farmers choose schedules that induce advance purchase. Calibration suggests such small, time-limited discounts yield higher welfare than either laissez faire or heavy subsidies by helping present-biased farmers commit to fertilizer use without inducing those with standard preferences to substantially overuse fertilizer.

    Intervention settings: Rural: Busia district.

    Intervention description: Farmers randomly offered one of the following: the chance to purchase a voucher immediately after the harvest, the chance to purchase at the time of their choosing, fertilizer at regular price with free delivery 2-4 months after harvest or fertilizer at a 50% subsidy with free delivery 2-4 months after harvest.

    Methodology: RCT.

    Sample: 924 farmers (841 in follow-up) with children enrolled in 16 local schools.

    Findings: Fertilizer use increased in every group (from 14-22% on a base of 23%), except for the group allowed to purchase fertilizer at the regular price.

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  • Women's Property, Mobility, and Decisionmaking: Evidence from Rural Karnataka, India

    Swaminathan et al. (2012)

    Original abstract:

    Recent research has shown that a substantial gap exists in asset ownership between men and women. In this paper, we examine the impact of rural women's property ownership on their mobility and autonomy in decisionmaking. The results are based on data collected by the authors in the state of Karnataka, India (The Karnataka Household Asset Survey 2010-11), which has individual-level asset ownership and valuation information. The research was undertaken in order to measure the extent of gender disparities in asset ownership and wealth in the state, and to build on the empirical literature that discusses the importance of asset ownership for women. Using logistic regression models, we find that owning a house or a plot of agricultural land enhances women's ability to travel to the market, health center, and other places outside the community, and to make decisions about their employment, health, and use of money independently. These processes, while important for women's own welfare, are also instrumental in improving the welfare outcomes of the entire household, particularly those of children. The impact of women's asset ownership and enhanced decisionmaking abilities on children's nutritional outcomes cannot be overstated. The findings of this paper thus bring to focus the need to intensify policy interventions aimed at increasing women's asset base and bridging the gender asset gap.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Logit models with 2010-11 Karnataka Household Asset Survey.

    Sample: 4,677 individuals (53% women).

    Findings: Home ownership and land ownership both have positive effects on women's mobility outside the home, and on their ability to make decisions about their own work, health and expenditures.

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  • Control and Ownership of Assets Within Rural Ethiopian Households

    Fafchamps and Quisumbing (2002)

    Original abstract:

    This paper investigates how the control and devolution of productive assets are allocated among husband and wife. Using detailed household data from rural Ethiopia, the authors show that assets brought to marriage, ownership of assets, control within marriage, and disposition upon death or divorce are only partly related.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Logit, probit, tobit with 1995/96 and 1997 household surveys.

    Sample: 1,420 households (23% female-headed).

    Findings: Land that women bring with them into a marriage as assets served as a strong predictor of their control over productive assets during the marriage, including the right to rent land.

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  • Land Titles and Rice Production in Vietnam

    Van den Broeck, Newman, and Tarp (2007)

    Original abstract:

    In most of the empirical literature on land titling, the household is regarded as unitary, and land rights are found to have ambiguous effects on land allocation, investment and productivity. Using data from 12 provinces in Vietnam, we diversify land titles, and show in a household fixed effects analysis of plot level rice yields that land titles are indeed important. Only exclusively held titles have the expected positive effects, and the positive effect on yields is found in male headed households. Furthermore, a household level rice yield function reveals that exclusive user rights are inefficiency decreasing, while jointly held user rights have no efficiency effects. Finally, once the gender of the head of household is controlled for, exclusively held female titles have a greater positive effect on the efficiency of the household than that of male held titles.

    Intervention settings:

    Intervention description: Land titling.

    Methodology: Household fixed effects models for rice yields with 2006 Access to Resources Household Survey.

    Sample: 4,478 households (16% female-headed).

    Findings: Land-use rights positively impacted rice yields in male-headed households but not in female-headed households.

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