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Cities and rural transformation: A spatial analysis of rural youth livelihoods in Ghana :: IFPRI Publications

Urbanization has had a major impact on livelihoods in Ghana and throughout Africa as a whole. However, much research on urbanization has focused on effects occurring within cities, while there is insufficient understanding of its effects on rural areas. This paper examines the impact of urbanization—through a typology of districts—on rural livelihoods in Ghana. 

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The impact of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme on the nutritional status of children: 2008–2012 :: IFPRI Publications

Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is a large-scale social protection intervention aimed at improving food security and stabilizing asset levels. The PSNP contains a mix of public works employment and unconditional transfers. It is a well-targeted program; however, several years passed before payment levels reached the intended amounts.  The findings, along with work by other researchers, have informed revisions to the PSNP. Future research will assess whether these revisions have led to improvements in the diets and anthropometric status of preschool children in Ethiopia.

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Liquid milk: Cash constraints and day-to-day intertemporal choice in financial diaries :: IFPRI Publications

This paper analyzes implications of cash constraints for collective marketing, using the case of the Kenyan dairy sector. Collective marketing, for instance through cooperatives, can improve smallholder farmer income but relies on informal, nonenforceable agreements to sell outputs collectively. Side selling of output in the local market occurs frequently and is typically attributed to price differences between the market and cooperative. This paper provides an alternative explanation, namely that farmers sell in the local market when they are cash constrained because cooperatives defer payments while buyers in local markets pay cash immediately. 

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Women's empowerment in agriculture: Implications for technical efficiency in rural Bangladesh :: IFPRI in external sources

Although a great deal of research exists on gender and agriculture, few studies investigate the implications of reduced gender disparities in households for technical efficiency. In this article, I compare the levels of technical efficiency achieved on plots operated by households with different levels of gender disparities. Using plot-level data from the 2011–2012 Bangladesh Integrated Household Survey and drawing on indicators derived from the Women's Empowerment in Agriculture Index, I estimate a stochastic frontier production function model, which includes women's empowerment in agriculture as an exogenous determinant of technical inefficiency. I find that reduced gender disparities within households (measured in terms of the empowerment gap between spouses) are associated with higher levels of technical efficiency. This result extends to plots that women jointly manage with their spouses, as well as those that women do not actively manage.
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Improved Nutrition through Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services: Case studies of Curriculum Review and Operational Lessons from India :: IFPRI Publications

Improved Nutrition through Agricultural Extension and Advisory Services: Case studies of Curriculum Review and Operational Lessons from India :: IFPRI Publications | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it

Even after several decades of green revolution, malnutrition continues to be a major development challenge in much of South Asia, and India has a major share of the malnourished people in the region. The nutritional issues in India are complex and therefore require a multifaceted, multidisciplinary solution. One facet of the solution is increasing knowledge about the causes of and solutions to malnutrition at the farm household level through agricultural extension. Through case studies, face-to-face consultations at the national level down to ground level program implementation have been developed. These include consultative workshops, and a conceptual framework and strategy for incorporating nutrition into extension curriculum development to improve nutrition outcomes. The strategy detailed in this report includes opportunities for collaboration from the national level to the community level. 

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Economic transformation in Africa from the bottom up: Evidence from Tanzania :: IFPRI

Tanzania has grown more rapidly over the past 12 years than at any other time in recent history. Employment growth has been strong, keeping up with population growth at roughly 2.5 percent per year; 90% of employment growth has been in the non-agricultural sector. However, the vast majority of this non-agricultural employment growth has occurred in the informal sector. Using Tanzania’s first nationally representative survey of micro, small and medium sized enterprises - we show that firms in the informal sector contributed roughly half a percentage point to economy-wide labor productivity growth in Tanzania between 2002 and 2012. However, virtually all of the labor productivity growth contributed by informal firms came from a small subset of firms we call the in-between firms. These could be used for targeting financial and business services to firms with the potential to grow.
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Childhood health and the wantedness of male and female children :: IFPRI

Maternal desire for children of a particular sex has important implications for the well-being of household members. A simple theoretical model predicts that when a child is born of their mother's preferred sex, parents will allocate more resources towards that child, resulting in healthier children. I test this prediction empirically using a longitudinal data set from Indonesia. Each mother's preferred sex, defined by whether she prefers for future children to be male or female, is matched to the observed sex of her subsequent child. Because this measure of maternal sex preference is established before conception, identification requires only that the sex at birth of the subsequent child is random. I find that children born of their mother's preferred sex are heavier, have a higher body mass index, and experience fewer illnesses in early childhood. I show that reductions in subsequent fertility can explain roughly half of the total effect.
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Nutrition economics: Principles and policy applications :: IFPRI

This book establishes the core criteria for consideration as new policies and regulations are developed, including application-based principles that ensure practical, effective implementation of policy. From the economic contribution of nutrition on quality of life, to the costs of malnutrition on society from both an individual and governmental level, this book guides the reader through the factors that can determine the success or failure of a nutrition policy.
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Highlights of recent IFPRI research and partnerships with Germany :: IFPRI Publications

Highlights of recent IFPRI research and partnerships with Germany :: IFPRI Publications | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it

For more than three decades, IFPRI has engaged in strong partnerships with German development agencies, universities, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to build the evidence base needed to effectively tackle pressing development issues. Initially, IFPRI and German partners worked together to identify strategies that promote sustainable rural development for reducing poverty; over time, the collaborations have expanded to include food and nutrition security. The German government’s longstanding, generous, and unrestricted support has allowed IFPRI to conduct cutting-edge policy research. IFPRI’s project-specific work with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) has contributed to global, regional, and national development strategies. Various partnerships between IFPRI and the German government have influenced effective strategies for agricultural growth and building resilience to climate change, particularly in Africa. The result has been an exceptional integration and exchange of knowledge on critical issues related to food and nutrition security, which has enhanced the quality of research as well as the development outcomes and impact of both IFPRI and the German organizations.

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The evolution of global farming land: facts and interpretations :: IFPRI in external sources

This article documents global and regional changes in aggregate agricultural land use, per capita land use, and average farm sizes. The spatial distribution of global farming land has changed dramatically, with developed countries substantially reducing their share of global agricultural land, and land-abundant developing countries substantially increasing their share. In per capita terms, we see a rather different pattern, with average farm sizes increasing in rich and more commercialized agricultural systems, and generally declining or staying constant in poorer and less commercialized systems. These outcomes are the result of complex processes that are not always well understood. I conclude the article by suggesting new, or neglected, areas of research that would facilitate a better understanding of these critically important developments.
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The impact of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme on the nutritional status of children: 2008–2012 :: IFPRI Publications

Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) is a large-scale social protection intervention aimed at improving food security and stabilizing asset levels. It contains a mix of public works employment and unconditional cash and food transfers. PSNP has been successful in improving household food security. However, children’s nutritional status in the localities where PSNP operates is poor, with 48 percent of children stunted in 2012. This leads to the question of whether the the program could improve child nutrition. PSNP contains a mix of public works employment and unconditional cash and food transfers.  In this paper, we examine the impact of the program on children’s nutritional status over the period 2008–2012. Doing so requires paying particular attention to the targeting of the PSNP and how payment levels have evolved over time.
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Home ownership as status competition: Some theory and evidence :: IFPRI in external sources

This paper explores the implications of home ownership as a status good for housing prices. More concretely, if a family's housing wealth relative to others is an important sorting variable for relative attractiveness in the marriage market, then competition for marriage partners might motivate people to pursue a bigger and more expensive house/apartment. To test the hypothesis, we explore regional variations in the sex ratio for the pre-marital age cohort across China (as a proxy for differential strength for concerns for status). We find that the evidence is consistent with the status competition hypothesis.
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Agriculture and the rural economy in Pakistan: Issues, outlooks, and policy priorities: Synopsis :: IFPRI Publications

Agriculture and the rural economy in Pakistan: Issues, outlooks, and policy priorities: Synopsis :: IFPRI Publications | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it

While policy makers, media, and the international community focus their attention on Pakistan’s ongoing security challenges, the potential of the rural economy, and particularly the agricultural sector, to improve Pakistanis’ well-being is being neglected. Agriculture is crucial to Pakistan’s economy. Almost half of the country’s labor force works in the agricultural sector, which produces food and inputs for industry (such as cotton for textiles) and accounts for over a third of Pakistan’s total export earnings. Equally important are non-farm economic activities in rural areas, such as retail sales in small village shops, transportation services, and education and health services in local schools and clinics. Rural non-farm activities account for between 40 and 57 percent of total rural household income. Their large share of income means that the agricultural sector and the rural non-farm economy have vital roles to play in promoting growth and reducing poverty in Pakistan.

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How should rural financial cooperatives be best organized? Evidence from Ethiopia :: IFPRI Publications

What is the optimal size and composition of Rural Financial Cooperatives (RFCs)? With this broad question in mind, we characterize alternative formation of RFCs and their implications in improving the access of rural households to financial services, including savings, credit, and insurance services. We find that some features of RFCs have varying implications for delivering various financial services. The size of RFCs is found to have a nonlinear relationship with the various financial services RFCs provide.This evidence provides suggestive insights on how to ensure financial inclusion among smallholders, a pressing agenda and priority of policy makers in developing countries, including Ethiopia. The results also provide some insights into rural microfinance operations which are striving to satisfy members’ demand for financial services.

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An assessment of the livestock economy in mixed crop-livestock production systems in Ethiopia :: IFPRI Publications

Unlike most studies that focus purely on aspects of livestock production, this study provides a detailed descriptive assessment of the livestock production and marketing behavior of smallholder mixed crop-livestock farmers. The study uses a dataset collected in the Agricultural Growth Program baseline survey from farm households in districts of Ethiopia with high potential in grain crops production, areas which have a significant share of the livestock in the country. Smallholder livestock production is characterized by lower levels of livestock ownership, limited market orientation, and lower productivity. Our assessment apprises the current status of livestock production systems in Ethiopia and highlights potential income sources from livestock, including positive synergies between these income sources to help reduce poverty and to promote economic growth in rural communities.

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The recent growth boom in developing economies: A structural-change perspective :: IFPRI 

Growth has accelerated in a wide range of developing countries over the last couple of decades, resulting in an extraordinary period of convergence with the advanced economies. We analyze this experience from the lens of structural change – the reallocation of labor from low- to high-productivity sectors. Patterns of structural change differ greatly in the recent growth experience.
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Micronutrient policy change in South Africa: Implications for the Kaleidoscope Model for food security policy change :: IFPRI Publications

This review of micronutrient policy processes in South Africa serves as a companion piece to two parallel studies in Malawi and Zambia. All three studies employ the Kaleidoscope Model of policy change to trace the causal forces leading to key micronutrient policy decisions in each of the three countries. The analysis in this paper traces the evolution of policies in the pre- and post-apartheid periods through to the present time. In addition to a substantive review of published and grey literature on micronutrient status and policies in South Africa, the research team conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 policy stakeholders in South Africa between October 2015 and June 2016 using a standardised interview guide.

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Be patient when measuring hyperbolic discounting: Stationarity, time consistency and time invariance in a field experiment :: IFPRI

Hyperbolic discounting is one potential reason why savings remain low among the poor. Our field experiment in Nigeria examines the extent to which this is the case. The experiment measured both stationarity and time consistency for the same participants. Violations of the two rarely coincide, especially among more liquidity-constrained participants. Thus, in a context of liquidity constraints, eliciting only one type of choice reversal is insufficient to identify hyperbolic discounting.
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The changing structure of Africa's economies :: IFPRI

Using data from the Groningen Growth and Development Center’s Africa Sector Database and the Demographic and Health Surveys, we show that much of Africa’s recent growth and poverty reduction has been associated with a substantive decline in the share of the labor force engaged in agriculture. This decline is most pronounced for rural women over the age of 25 who have a primary education; it has been accompanied by a systematic increase in the productivity of the labor force, as it has moved from low productivity agriculture to higher productivity services and manufacturing. We also show that although the employment share in manufacturing is not expanding rapidly, in most of the low-income African countries, the employment share in manufacturing has not peaked and is still expanding, albeit from very low levels. More work is needed to understand the implications of these shifts in employment shares for future growth and development in Africa south of the Sahara.
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The critical role of risk in setting directions for water, food and energy policy and research :: IFPRI

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) challenge markets, regulators and practitioners to achieve multiple objectives on water, food and energy. This calls for responses that are coordinated and scaled appropriately. Learning from water–energy–food nexus could support much-needed building of links between the separate SDGs. The concept has highlighted how risks manifest when blinkered development and management of water, food and energy reduce resource security across sectors and far-reaching scales. However, three under-studied dimensions of these risks must be better considered in order to identify leverage points for sustainable development: first, externalities and shared risks across multiple scales; second, innovative government mechanisms for shared risks; and third, negotiating the balance between silos, politics and power in addressing shared risks.
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Agricultural extension messages using video on portable devices increased knowledge about seed selection, storage and handling among smallholder potato farmers in southwestern Uganda :: IFPRI 

To feed a growing population, agricultural productivity needs to increase dramatically. Agricultural extension information, with its public, non-rival nature, is generally under-supplied, and public provision remains challenging. In this study, simple agricultural extension video messages, delivered through Android tablets, were tested in the field to determine if they increased farmers’ knowledge of recommended practices on (i) potato seed selection and (ii) seed storage and handling among a sample of potato farmers in southwestern Uganda. Using a field experiment with ex ante matching in a factorial design, it was established that showing agricultural extension videos significantly increased farmers’ knowledge. However, results suggested impact pathways that went beyond simply replicating what was shown in the video. Video messages may have triggered a process of abstraction, whereby farmers applied insights gained in one context to a different context.
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Monitoring population diet quality and nutrition status with household consumption and expenditure surveys: Suggestions for a Bangladesh baseline :: IFPRI 

Increasing understanding of nutrition and the changing nature of malnutrition have increased interest in diet quality. Owing largely to the apparent lack of national and sub-national level data about diet and diet quality, however, we have little knowledge about dietary patterns, and little understanding of how agriculture, trade, food industry and health policy may be used to improve diet quality. This paper reviews the growing use of household consumption and expenditure surveys (HCES)— multi-purpose surveys that are routinely conducted in roughly 120 countries—to address this dietary information gap.
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Urban wage behaviour and food price inflation in Ethiopia :: IFPRI in external sources

Theoretically, increases in food prices could benefit the poor by increasing the demand for unskilled labor, and hence their wages. This paper tests this hypothesis in urban Ethiopia. We exploit a unique panel of monthly price and wage data from 111 urban markets to first construct welfare-relevant measures of real wages, before employing various panel estimators to formally test wage-food price integration. We find moderate rates of long-run adjustment to increases in food prices, but that adjustment is very slow. This implies highly adverse short-run welfare impacts of higher food prices on the urban poor.
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Food prices and poverty :: IFPRI in external sources

Do higher food prices help or hinder poverty reduction? Despite much debate, existing research has almost solely relied on simulation models to address this question. In this article World Bank poverty estimates are used to systematically test the relationship between changes in poverty and exogenous changes in real domestic food prices. We uncover indicative evidence that increases in food prices are associated with reductions in poverty, not increases. We empirically explain this result in terms of relatively strong agricultural supply and wage responses to food price increases, and the fact that the majority of the world’s poor still heavily rely on agriculture or agriculture-related activities to earn a living.
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Validity of gestational age estimates by last menstrual period and neonatal examination compared to ultrasound in Vietnam :: IFPRI

Accurate estimation of gestational age is important for both clinical and public health purposes. Estimates of gestational age using fetal ultrasound measurements are considered most accurate but are frequently unavailable in low- and middle-income countries. The objective of this study was to assess the validity of last menstrual period and Farr neonatal examination estimates of gestational age, compared to ultrasound estimates, in a large cohort of women in Vietnam.
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