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Livelihood strategies in the rural Kenyan highlands

Author

Listed:
  • Brown, Douglas R.
  • Stephens, Emma C.
  • Ouma, James Okuro
  • Murithi, Festus M.
  • Barrett, Christopher B.

Abstract

The concept of a livelihood strategy has become central to development practice in recent years. Nonetheless, precise identification of livelihoods in quantitative data has remained methodologically elusive. This paper uses cluster analysis methods to operationalize the concept of livelihood strategies in household data and then uses the resulting strategy-specific income distributions to test whether the hypothesized outcome differences between livelihoods indeed exist. Using data from Kenya’s central and western highlands, we identify five distinct livelihood strategies that exhibit statistically significant differences in mean per capita incomes and stochastic dominance orderings that establish clear welfare rankings among livelihood strategies. Multinomial regression analysis identifies geographic, demographic and financial determinants of livelihood choice. The results should facilitate targeting of interventions designed to improve household livelihoods.

Suggested Citation

  • Brown, Douglas R. & Stephens, Emma C. & Ouma, James Okuro & Murithi, Festus M. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2006. "Livelihood strategies in the rural Kenyan highlands," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 1(1), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:afjare:57019
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    Cited by:

    1. Gopal Datt Bhatta & Pramod Kumar Aggarwal & Amit Kumar Shrivastava & Lindsay Sproule, 2016. "Is rainfall gradient a factor of livelihood diversification? Empirical evidence from around climatic hotspots in Indo-Gangetic Plains," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(6), pages 1657-1678, December.
    2. Tuyen, Tran Quang, 2013. "Farmland and peri-urban livelihoods in Hanoi, Vietnam: evidence from household survey data," MPRA Paper 60847, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Dec 2014.
    3. Ludvig, Katalin, 6. "Livelihood strategies in a disadvantageous micro-region of Hungary," Rural Areas and Development, European Rural Development Network, vol. 6.
    4. Sytske Groenewald & Erwin Bulte, 2013. "Trust and livelihood adaptation: evidence from rural Mexico," Agriculture and Human Values, Springer;The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS), vol. 30(1), pages 41-55, March.
    5. Chikwama, Cornilius, 2010. "The role of rural off-farm employment in agricultural development among farm households in low-income countries: Evidence from Zimbabwe," Journal of Cooperatives, NCERA-210, vol. 4(1), March.
    6. John Kamau Gathiaka & Moses Kinyanjui Muriithi, 2017. "An Empirical Analysis of Livelihood Strategies and Food Insecurity in Turkana County, Kenya," Research Papers RP_338, African Economic Research Consortium.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:612-:d:95875 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Korir, Luke Kipkurgat, 2011. "Risk Management Among Agricultural Households And The Role Of Off-Farm Investments In Uasin Gishu County, Kenya," Research Theses 117806, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    9. Stifel, David, 2010. "The rural non-farm economy, livelihood strategies and household welfare," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(1), March.
    10. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:266-278 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:forpol:v:86:y:2018:i:c:p:76-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Wenjia Peng & Hua Zheng & Brian E. Robinson & Cong Li & Fengchun Wang, 2017. "Household Livelihood Strategy Choices, Impact Factors, and Environmental Consequences in Miyun Reservoir Watershed, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-12, January.
    13. van den Berg, Marrit, 2010. "Household income strategies and natural disasters: Dynamic livelihoods in rural Nicaragua," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 592-602, January.
    14. Kusunose, Yoko & Lybbert, Travis J., 2014. "Coping with Drought by Adjusting Land Tenancy Contracts: A Model and Evidence from Rural Morocco," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 114-126.
    15. repec:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:177-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Babulo, Bedru & Muys, Bart & Nega, Fredu & Tollens, Eric & Nyssen, Jan & Deckers, Jozef & Mathijs, Erik, 2008. "Household livelihood strategies and forest dependence in the highlands of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 147-155, September.
    17. Alemu, Zerihun Gudeta, 2012. "Livelihood Strategies in Rural South Africa: Implications for Poverty Reduction," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125411, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    18. Tittonell, P. & Muriuki, A. & Shepherd, K.D. & Mugendi, D. & Kaizzi, K.C. & Okeyo, J. & Verchot, L. & Coe, R. & Vanlauwe, B., 2010. "The diversity of rural livelihoods and their influence on soil fertility in agricultural systems of East Africa - A typology of smallholder farms," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 103(2), pages 83-97, February.
    19. Solomon Zena Walelign, 2016. "Livelihood strategies, environmental dependency and rural poverty: the case of two villages in rural Mozambique," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 593-613, April.
    20. Soltani, Arezoo & Angelsen, Arild & Eid, Tron & Naieni, Mohammad Saeid Noori & Shamekhi, Taghi, 2012. "Poverty, sustainability, and household livelihood strategies in Zagros, Iran," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 60-70.
    21. Nguyen, Trung Thanh & Do, Truong Lam & Bühler, Dorothee & Hartje, Rebecca & Grote, Ulrike, 2015. "Rural livelihoods and environmental resource dependence in Cambodia," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 282-295.
    22. Solomon Zena Walelign & Mariève Pouliot & Helle Overgaard Larsen & Carsten Smith-Hall, 2015. "A novel approach to dynamic livelihood clustering: Empirical evidence from Nepal," IFRO Working Paper 2015/09, University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics.
    23. Witt, Rudolf & Waibel, Hermann, 2011. "Constraints to diversification of poor fishery-dependent households in Cameroon," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 6(2), September.

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