Income diversification in Zimbabwe : welfare implications from urban and rural areas
AbstractThe author examines, taking into account the urban-rural divides, the changes and welfare implications of income diversification in Zimbabwe following macroeconomic policy changes and droughts of the early 1990s. Data from two comparable national income, consumption and expenditure surveys in 1990-91 and 1995-96, which straddled a period of economic volatility and natural disasters, show that the percentage of households earning income from private and informal sources grew considerably, while that from government and formal sources declined in the aftermath of the drought and policy changes. The author finds that, in general, rural households tend to have a more diversified portfolio of income compared with their urban counterparts, and the degree of diversification decreases with the level of urbanization. However, there are important differences in the level of diversification within the rural and urban areas depending on wealth: While the relatively better-off households have a more diversified income base in rural areas, it is the poor who pursue multiple income sources in urban areas. A decomposition of changes in welfare indicates that the total contribution of income diversification is large and increased between 1990-91 and 1995-96 in both urban and rural areas. On the other hand, there were significant declines in returns to human and physical capital assets during the same period. The findings suggest that households with a more diversified income base are better able to withstand the unfavorable impacts of the policy and weather shocks. The fact that relatively better-off households have a more diversified income base following the shocks implies that the poor are more vulnerable to economic changes unaccompanied by well-designed safety nets.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3964.
Date of creation: 01 Jul 2006
Date of revision:
Rural Poverty Reduction; Inequality; Poverty Diagnostics; Economic Theory&Research;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966, September.
- Barrett, C. B. & Reardon, T. & Webb, P., 2001. "Nonfarm income diversification and household livelihood strategies in rural Africa: concepts, dynamics, and policy implications," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 315-331, August.
- Deaton, Angus, 1991.
"Saving and Liquidity Constraints,"
Econometric Society, vol. 59(5), pages 1221-48, September.
- Binswanger, Hans P & McIntire, John, 1987. "Behavioral and Material Determinants of Production Relations in Land-Abundant Tropical Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 73-99, October.
- Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
- Lanjouw, Peter & Quizon, Jaime & Sparrow, Robert, 2001. "Non-agricultural earnings in peri-urban areas of Tanzania: evidence from household survey data," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 385-403, August.
- Coate, Stephen & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Reciprocity without commitment : Characterization and performance of informal insurance arrangements," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 1-24, February.
- Barrett, Christopher B. & Bezuneh, Mesfin & Aboud, Abdillahi, 2001. "Income diversification, poverty traps and policy shocks in Cote d'Ivoire and Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 367-384, August.
- Kinsey, Bill & Burger, Kees & Gunning, Jan Willem, 1998. "Coping with drought in Zimbabwe: Survey evidence on responses of rural households to risk," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 89-110, January.
- Marquette, Catherine M., 1997. "Current poverty, structural adjustment, and drought in Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(7), pages 1141-1149, July.
- Bromley, Daniel W & Chavas, Jean-Paul, 1989. "On Risk, Transactions, and Economic Development in the Semiarid Tropics," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(4), pages 719-36, July.
- Udry, Christopher, 1990. "Credit Markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as Insurance in a Rural Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 251-69, September.
- Udry, Christopher, 1995. "Risk and Saving in Northern Nigeria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1287-1300, December.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Wolpin, Kenneth I., 1989.
"Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investments in Bullocks in India,"
7487, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1993. "Credit Market Constraints, Consumption Smoothing, and the Accumulation of Durable Production Assets in Low-Income Countries: Investment in Bullocks in India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 223-44, April.
- Mosley, Paul & Subasat, Turan & Weeks, John, 1995. "Assessing adjustment in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(9), pages 1459-1473, September.
- Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
- Block, S. & Webb, P., 2001. "The dynamics of livelihood diversification in post-famine Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 333-350, August.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Chris Udry & Katherine Czukas, .
"Drought and Saving in West Africa: Are Livestock a Buffer Stock?,"
97013, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Fafchamps, Marcel & Udry, Christopher & Czukas, Katherine, 1998. "Drought and saving in West Africa: are livestock a buffer stock?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 273-305, April.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Binswanger, Hans P., 1992.
"Wealth, weather risk, and the composition and profitability of agricultural investments,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1055, The World Bank.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R & Binswanger, Hans P, 1993. "Wealth, Weather Risk and the Composition and Profitability of Agricultural Investments," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 56-78, January.
- Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Binswanger, Hans P., 1989. "Wealth, Weather Risk and the Composition and Profitability of Agricultural Investments," Bulletins 7455, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
- Ersado, Lire & Alderman, Harold & Alwang, Jeffrey, 2003. "Changes in Consumption and Saving Behavior before and after Economic Shocks: Evidence from Zimbabwe," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 187-215, October.
- Alderman, Harold, 1996. "Saving and economic shocks in rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 343-365, December.
- Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1996. "How Important to India's Poor Is the Sectoral Composition of Economic Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 1-25, January.
- Frederic ZIMMERMAN & Michael R. CARTER, 1996. "Dynamic Portfolio Management Under Risk And Subsistence Constraints In Developing Countries," Staff Papers 402, University of Wisconsin Madison, AAE.
- Robert M. Townsend, 1995. "Consumption Insurance: An Evaluation of Risk-Bearing Systems in Low-Income Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 83-102, Summer.
- Frank Ellis, 1998. "Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 1-38.
- Reardon, Thomas, 1997. "Using evidence of household income diversification to inform study of the rural nonfarm labor market in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 735-747, May.
- Hentschel, Jesko, et al, 2000. "Combining Census and Survey Data to Trace the Spatial Dimensions of Poverty: A Case Study of Ecuador," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 147-65, January.
- Chikweche, Tendai & Fletcher, Richard, 2010. "Understanding factors that influence purchases in subsistence markets," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 643-650, June.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.