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Stochastic Dominance Analysis of Soil and Water Conservation in Subsistence Crop Production in the Eastern Ethiopian Highlands: The Case of the Hunde-Lafto Area


  • Wagayehu Bekele



The aim of this paper is to analyze whether investment in soil and water conservation results in a higher yield and income and/or mitigate variability in yield and income to subsistence farm households in the Hunde-Lafto area. Net returns from crop production with and without soil and water conservation (SWC) are compared based on stochastic dominance (SD) criteria. A non-parametric first order SD and normalized second order are used for data analysis. Analysis is based on the Soil Conservation Research Program (SCRP) database for the Hunde-Lafto research unit. The results of the analysis suggest that adopting a conservation strategy results in higher grain yield and net return than in not adopting. The normalized second order SD analysis results do not support the hypothesis that conservation strategy is unambiguously better than a noconservation strategy in reducing variability in yield and net return to farmers. However, conservation strategy has shown second order dominance at lower levels of yield and income that often correspond to unfavorable rainfall conditions. This makes it a preferred strategy to cope with the most prevalent risk factor of moisture shortage. Therefore, appropriate policies to help and encourage farmers to adopt SWC structures will contribute to improving the welfare of subsistence farm households in the study area and in other similar settings in the country. Designing and implementing SWC techniques that may result in unambiguous second order SD dominance will further improve the desirability and adoption of conservation measures. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Wagayehu Bekele, 2005. "Stochastic Dominance Analysis of Soil and Water Conservation in Subsistence Crop Production in the Eastern Ethiopian Highlands: The Case of the Hunde-Lafto Area," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(4), pages 533-550, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:32:y:2005:i:4:p:533-550
    DOI: 10.1007/s10640-005-0069-2

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    Cited by:

    1. Catherine M. Chambers & Paul E. Chambers & John R. Crooker & John C. Whitehead, 2008. "Stochastic Dominance, Entropy and Biodiversity Management," Working Papers 08-08, Department of Economics, Appalachian State University.
    2. Kassie, Menale & Pender, John & Yesuf, Mahmud & Köhln, Gunnar & Mulugeta, Elias, 2008. "The Role of Soil Conservation on Mean Crop Yield and Variance of Yield: Evidence from the Ethiopian Highlands," Discussion Papers dp-08-08-efd, Resources For the Future.
    3. ERREYGERS, Guido & FEREDE, Tadele, 2009. "The end of subsistence farming: Growth dynamics and investments in human and environmental capital in rural Ethiopia," Working Papers 2009008, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    4. Mequaninte, Teferi & Birner, Regina & Mueller, Ulrike, 2015. "Adoption of Land Management Practices in Ethiopia: Which Network Types," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 212631, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Kato, E., 2009. "Soil and water conservation technologies: a buffer against production risk in the face of climate change?: insights from the Nile Basin in Ethiopia," IWMI Working Papers H042477, International Water Management Institute.

    More about this item


    erosion; Ethiopia; net return; soil and water conservation; stochastic dominance; Q24; renewable resources and conservation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land


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