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The Equity and Poverty Impacts of Aquaculture: Insights from the Philippines


  • Xavier Irz
  • James R. Stevenson
  • Arnold Tanoy
  • Portia Villarante
  • Pierre Morissens


Recent literature is sceptical about the ability of aquaculture development to enhance equity and reduce poverty. This article investigates the issue empirically by surveying 148 households randomly selected in five coastal communities of the Philippines. There is overwhelming evidence that aquaculture benefits the poor in important ways and that it is perceived very positively by poor and non-poor alike. In particular, the poor derive a relatively larger share of their income from it than the rich, and a lowering of the poverty line only reinforces this result. A Gini decomposition exercise also shows unambiguously that aquaculture represents an inequality-reducing source of income, providing employment to a large number of unskilled workers in communities characterised by large labour surpluses. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Irz & James R. Stevenson & Arnold Tanoy & Portia Villarante & Pierre Morissens, 2007. "The Equity and Poverty Impacts of Aquaculture: Insights from the Philippines," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 25(4), pages 495-516, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:25:y:2007:i:4:p:495-516

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    Cited by:

    1. Toufique, Kazi Ali & Gregory, Rick, 2008. "Common waters and private lands: Distributional impacts of floodplain aquaculture in Bangladesh," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 587-594, December.
    2. Ceballos, Adams & Dresdner-Cid, Jorge David & Quiroga-Suazo, Miguel Ángel, 2018. "Does the location of salmon farms contribute to the reduction of poverty in remote coastal areas? An impact assessment using a Chilean case study," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 68-79.
    3. Filipski, Mateusz & Belton, Ben, 2018. "Give a Man a Fishpond: Modeling the Impacts of Aquaculture in the Rural Economy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 205-223.
    4. Béné, Christophe & Arthur, Robert & Norbury, Hannah & Allison, Edward H. & Beveridge, Malcolm & Bush, Simon & Campling, Liam & Leschen, Will & Little, David & Squires, Dale & Thilsted, Shakuntala H. &, 2016. "Contribution of Fisheries and Aquaculture to Food Security and Poverty Reduction: Assessing the Current Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 177-196.
    5. Toufique, Kazi Ali & Belton, Ben, 2014. "Is Aquaculture Pro-Poor? Empirical Evidence of Impacts on Fish Consumption in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 609-620.

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