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Nonfarm Income, Inequality, and Land in Rural Egypt

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  • Adams, Richard H, Jr

Abstract

The author uses household-level data from a nationally representative survey to analyze the impact of nonfarm income on income inequality in rural Egypt. After pinpointing the importance of nonfarm income to the rural poor, the author decomposes total rural income among five sources, nonfarm, agricultural, livestock, rental, and transfer. He shows that while nonfarm income represents the most important inequality-reducing source of income, agricultural income represents the most important inequality-increasing source. A 1 percent marginal increase in nonfarm income will cause the Gini coefficient of overall income to fall by 12.8 percent. But a 1 percent marginal increase in agricultural income will cause the Gini coefficient to rise by 15.8 percent. The reason for this difference has to do with land, which is distributed very unevenly in this study. Regression analysis of the determinants of income shows that land ownership is positively and statistically related to the receipt of agricultural income but has no statistical relationship to the receipt of nonfarm income. This leads the author to three conclusions: 1) If policymakers are interested in reducing poverty and improving income distribution in rural Egypt, they should focus on nonfarm income - which not only accounts for almost 60 percent of total income for the rural poor but also favorably affects income distribution. 2) Nonfarm income is an inequality-reducing source of income in a land-scarce setting such as rural Egypt because inadequate land"pushes"poorer households out of agriculture and into the nonfarm sector. 3) Agricultural income contributes most to rural income inequality because it is highly correlated with land ownership and with total rural income.
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Suggested Citation

  • Adams, Richard H, Jr, 2002. "Nonfarm Income, Inequality, and Land in Rural Egypt," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(2), pages 339-363, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:50:y:2002:i:2:p:339-63
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    Cited by:

    1. Guanghua Wan & Zhangyue Zhou, 2005. "Income Inequality in Rural China: Regression-based Decomposition Using Household Data," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 107-120, February.
    2. Haddad, Lawrence James & Ahmed, Akhter U., 2002. "Avoiding chronic and transitory poverty," FCND discussion papers 133, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Sundaram-Stukel, Reka & Deininger, Klaus W. & Jin, Songqing, 2006. "Fostering growth of the rural non-farm sector in Africa: The Case of Tanzania," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21165, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    4. Coudouel, Aline & Hentschel, Jesko & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Medición y análisis de la pobreza
      [Poverty Measurement and Analysis]
      ," MPRA Paper 10491, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Benjamin Davis & Paul Winters & Gero Carletto & Katia Covarrubias & Esteban Quinones & Alberto Zezza & Kostas Stamoulis & Genny Bonomi & Stefania DiGiuseppe, 2007. "Rural Income Generating Activities; A Cross Country Comparison," Working Papers 07-16, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
    6. Wan, Guanghua & Zhou, Zhangyue, 2004. "Income Inequality in Rural China: Regression-based Decomposition Using Household Data," WIDER Working Paper Series 051, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Davis, Benjamin & Winters, Paul & Carletto, Gero & Covarrubias, Katia & Quiñones, Esteban J. & Zezza, Alberto & Stamoulis, Kostas & Azzarri, Carlo & DiGiuseppe, Stefania, 2010. "A Cross-Country Comparison of Rural Income Generating Activities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 48-63, January.
    8. Tilman Brück, 2004. "The Welfare Effects of Farm Household Activity Choices in Post-War Mozambique," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 413, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. Coudouel, Aline & Hentschel, Jesko & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Измерение И Анализ Бедности
      [Poverty Measurement and Analysis]
      ," MPRA Paper 10492, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Ragui Assaad & Caroline Krafft, 2013. "The Structure and Evolution of Employment in Egypt: 1998-2012," Working Papers 805, Economic Research Forum, revised Nov 2013.
    11. Kim, Euijune & Jeong, Youn Hee, 2003. "Decomposition of Regional Income Inequality in Korea," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 33(3), pages 313-327.
    12. Vollenweider, Xavier & Di Falco, Salvatore & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2011. "The Impact Of Risk On The Inequality: Evidences From The Irish Agricultural Sector," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 115553, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    13. Tilman Brück, 2003. "Coping Strategies in Post-War Rural Mozambique," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 384, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. XING, Li & FAN, Shenggen & LUO, Xiaopeng & ZHang, Xiaobo, 2009. "Community poverty and inequality in western China: A tale of three villages in Guizhou Province," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 338-349, June.
    15. Michael Lipton, 2001. "Reviving global poverty reduction: what role for genetically modified plants?," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(7), pages 823-846.
    16. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:9:p:3171-:d:167850 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "The rural non-farm sector: issues and evidence from developing countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 1-23, October.
    18. Haggblade, Steven & Hazell, Peter & Reardon, Thomas, 2010. "The Rural Non-farm Economy: Prospects for Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1429-1441, October.
    19. Chuliang Luo & Terry Sicular, 2011. "Inequality and Poverty in Rural China," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 201114, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    20. Coudouel, Aline & Hentschel, Jesko & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Mesure et analyse de la pauvreté
      [Poverty Measurement and Analysis]
      ," MPRA Paper 10490, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    21. Kimhi, Ayal, 2009. "Land Reform and Farm-Household Income Inequality: The Case of Georgia," Discussion Papers 54159, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Department of Agricultural Economics and Management.
    22. Winters, Paul & Davis, Benjamin & Carletto, Gero & Covarrubias, Katia & Quiñones, Esteban J. & Zezza, Alberto & Azzarri, Carlo & Stamoulis, Kostas, 2009. "Assets, Activities and Rural Income Generation: Evidence from a Multicountry Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1435-1452, September.
    23. Newman, Constance & Canagarajah, Sudharshan, 2000. "Gender, poverty, and nonfarm employment in Ghana and Uganda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2367, The World Bank.
    24. Rigg, Jonathan, 2006. "Land, farming, livelihoods, and poverty: Rethinking the links in the Rural South," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 180-202, January.
    25. Antonelli, Cristiano & Gehringer, Agnieszka, 2017. "Technological change, rent and income inequalities: A Schumpeterian approach," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 85-98.

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