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Agricultural extension system reform and agent time allocation in China

  • HU, Ruifa
  • YANG, Zhijian
  • KELLY, Peter
  • HUANG, Jikun

We conducted a nationally representative survey to measure the impact of China's institutional reforms in public agricultural extension on the time allocation of its one million agricultural extension agents. We found that Chinese agents spent much less time than their titles would suggest on providing agricultural extension services, and that agents whose base salaries were funded fully or partially by commercial activities spent substantially less time serving farmers. The institutional incentives associated with the source of funding have a much larger effect on agent time allocation than do the levels of funding. We conclude that the recent government policy to separate commercial activities from extension services is a step in the right direction and should be expanded. The results also suggest that, at least for agricultural extension, the goal of many national governments and international donors to develop locally financing institutions to sustain development projects may be misguided.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W46-4TRCYDS-1/2/a42163b4b59666c822678cf014a2468f
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 20 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 303-315

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:20:y:2009:i:2:p:303-315
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

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  1. Jikun Huang & Fangbin Qiao & Linxiu Zhang & Scott Rozelle, 2000. "Farm Pesticide, Rice Production, and Human Health," EEPSEA Research Report rr2000051, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised May 2000.
  2. Zhang, Xiaobo, 2006. "Fiscal Decentralization and Political Centralization in China: Implications for Growth and Inequality," Working Paper Series RP2006/93, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  3. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel, 2004. "The Illusion of Sustainability," Working Papers 35, Center for Global Development.
  4. Jonathan Morduch, 1999. "The Microfinance Promise," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1569-1614, December.
  5. Jock R. Anderson, 2004. "Agricultural Extension: Good Intentions and Hard Realities," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 41-60.
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