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Consumption risk, technology adoption, and poverty traps : evidence from Ethiopia

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  • Dercon, Stefan
  • Christiaensen, Luc

Abstract

Much has been written on the determinants of input and technology adoption in agriculture, with issues such as input availability, knowledge and education, risk preferences, profitability, and credit constraints receivingmuch attention. This paper focuses on a factor that has been less well documented-the differential ability of households to take on risky production technologies for fear of the welfare consequences if shocks result in poor harvests. Building on an explicit model, this is explored in panel data for Ethiopia. Historical rainfall distributions are used to identify the counterfactual consumption risk. Controlling for unobserved household and time-varying village characteristics, it emerges that not just ex-ante credit constraints, but also the possibly low consumption outcomes when harvests fail, discourage the application of fertilizer. The lack of insurance causes inefficiency in production choices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4257.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4257

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Financial Intermediation; Consumption; Insurance&Risk Mitigation; Inequality;

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  1. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2000. "Vulnerability, seasonality and poverty in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 25-53.
  2. Stefan Dercon, 2003. "Growth and Shocks: evidence from rural Ethiopia," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2003-12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
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