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Few Opportunities, Much Desperation: The Dichotomy of Non-Agricultural Activities and Inequality in Western Kenya

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  • Lay, Jann
  • Mahmoud, Toman Omar
  • M'Mukaria, George Michuki

Abstract

Summary Using data from Western Kenya, we confirm the existence of a dichotomous non-agricultural sector. The poverty and inequality implications of the differently motivated diversification strategies only partly correspond to expected patterns. While high-return activities are indeed confined to richer households, low-return activities constitute an important income source for households across the entire income distribution. Finally, we examine the wider implications of our findings for rural livelihoods. We find that only engagement in high-return non-agricultural activities is significantly associated with increased agricultural productivity. It seems that such high-return activities play a key role in triggering cumulative effects of relative livelihood success.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
Pages: 2713-2732

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:36:y:2008:i:12:p:2713-2732

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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Keywords: income diversification non-agricultural activities inequality agricultural productivity sub-Saharan Africa Kenya;

References

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Cited by:
  1. Andersson Djurfeldt, Agnes & Djurfeldt, Göran & Bergman Lodin, Johanna, 2013. "Geography of Gender Gaps: Regional Patterns of Income and Farm–Nonfarm Interaction Among Male- and Female-Headed Households in Eight African Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 32-47.
  2. Dil Bahadur Rahut & Maja Micevska Scharf, 2012. "Livelihood diversification strategies in the Himalayas," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 56(4), pages 558-582, October.
  3. Sosina Bezu & Christopher Barrett, 2012. "Employment Dynamics in the Rural Nonfarm Sector in Ethiopia: Do the Poor Have Time on Their Side?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(9), pages 1223-1240, September.
  4. Bezu, Sosina & Barrett, Christopher B., 2010. "Activity Choice in Rural Non-farm Employment (RNFE): Survival versus accumulative strategy," MPRA Paper 55034, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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