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Give a Man a Fishpond: Modeling the Impacts of Aquaculture in the Rural Economy

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  • Filipski, Mateusz
  • Belton, Ben

Abstract

The rapid growth of fish farming over the past three decades has generated heated debate over the role of aquaculture in rural development and poverty reduction. Central to these debates is the question of whether and how aquaculture impacts local incomes and employment, yet little empirical evidence exists on the issue. To address this question, we propose a Local Economy-wide Impact Evaluation (LEWIE) model which nests fish farm models within a general-equilibrium model of their local economy. The model is calibrated using primary data collected from 1102 households in Myanmar’s main aquaculture zone, representative of 60% of the country’s aquaculture farms. Using this model, we examine the impact of aquaculture on the incomes and labor market outcomes of fish farming households, but also crop farms and non-farm households in the cluster. Simulating one-acre increases in pond/plot surface we find that: (1) aquaculture generates much higher incomes per-acre than agriculture; (2) aquaculture generates larger income spillovers than agriculture for non-farm households by way of retail and labor markets; (3) small commercial fish farms generate greater spillovers than large fish farms. These results bolster the notion that fish-farming, and in particular small-scale commercial aquaculture, may have a significant role to play in rural development and poverty reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:205-223
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2018.05.023
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Belton, Ben & Filipski, Mateusz J. & Hu, Chaoran, 2017. "Aquaculture in Myanmar: Fish farm technology, production economics and management:," Research briefs 37, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Ben Belton & David C. Little, 2011. "Immanent and Interventionist Inland Asian Aquaculture Development and its Outcomes," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 29(4), pages 459-484, July.
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    4. Mateusz J. Filipski & J. Edward Taylor & Karen E. Thome & Benjamin Davis, 2015. "Effects of treatment beyond the treated: a general equilibrium impact evaluation of Lesotho's cash grants program," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 46(2), pages 227-243, March.
    5. Belton, Ben & Hein, Aung & Htoo, Kyan & Kham, L. Seng & Nischan, Ulrike & Reardon, Thomas & Boughton, Duncan, 2015. "Aquaculture In Transition: Value Chain Transformation, Fish And Food Security In Myanmar," Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Papers 259027, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security (FSP).
    6. Filipski, Mateusz & Aboudrare, Abdellah & Lybbert, Travis J. & Taylor, J. Edward, 2017. "Spice Price Spikes: Simulating Impacts of Saffron Price Volatility in a Gendered Local Economy-Wide Model," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 84-99.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nong, Duy, 2019. "Potential economic impacts of global wild catch fishery decline in Southeast Asia and South America," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 213-226.
    2. Mark, SiuSue & Belton, Ben, 2020. "Breaking with the past? The politics of land restitution and the limits to restitutive justice in Myanmar," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 94(C).

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