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Livelihoods and farm efficiency in rural Georgia


  • Dirk Bezemer
  • Kelvin Balcombe
  • Junior Davis
  • Iain Fraser


This study contributes to the literature on the role of livelihood strategies in rural growth and poverty reduction. It distinguishes between livelihood diversity strategies that contribute to sustainable growth in household incomes, and those that mainly have a 'coping' function. It suggests that typically, the contribution of livelihood diversity to growing household income is through relaxing dependence on credit for access to capital. In this scenario, livelihood diversity would lead to higher technical efficiency in agriculture via investment and thereby to higher household incomes. Survey data from Georgia are introduced and used to test these hypotheses using a Bayesian stochastic frontier approach. The findings are relevant to defining more clearly the scope and aims of policies to stimulate the rural non-farm economy in developing and transition countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk Bezemer & Kelvin Balcombe & Junior Davis & Iain Fraser, 2005. "Livelihoods and farm efficiency in rural Georgia," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(15), pages 1737-1745.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:15:p:1737-1745
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500215253

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. O'Donnell, Christopher J. & Coelli, Timothy J., 2005. "A Bayesian approach to imposing curvature on distance functions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 126(2), pages 493-523, June.
    2. Barrett, C. B. & Reardon, T. & Webb, P., 2001. "Nonfarm income diversification and household livelihood strategies in rural Africa: concepts, dynamics, and policy implications," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 315-331, August.
    3. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 1995. "Rural nonfarm employment : a survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1463, The World Bank.
    4. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
    5. Tim Coelli & Sanzidur Rahman & Colin Thirtle, 2002. "Technical, Allocative, Cost and Scale Efficiencies in Bangladesh Rice Cultivation: A Non-parametric Approach," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 607-626.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mutenje, Munyaradzi & Kankwamba, Henry & Mangisonib, Julius & Kassie, Menale, 2016. "Agricultural innovations and food security in Malawi: Gender dynamics, institutions and market implications," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 240-248.
    2. Hoang, Trung X. & Pham, Cong S. & Ulubaşoğlu, Mehmet A., 2014. "Non-Farm Activity, Household Expenditure, and Poverty Reduction in Rural Vietnam: 2002–2008," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 554-568.
    3. Maya Grigolia & Lasha Labadze & Pavol Minarik & Alena Zemplinerova & Marek Vokoun, 2015. "Transfer of Know-how for SMEs in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. White Paper: Georgia," CASE Network Reports 0123, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.

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