Measuring the Productivity from Indigenous Soil and Water Conservation Technologies with Household Fixed Effects: A Case Study of Hilly Mountainous Areas of Benin
In this paper we examine the productivity of indigenous soil and water conservation investments in the Boukombe region in Northwest Benin, using an in-depth survey among 101 farmers on farm inputs, outputs, and SWC investments. We show that positive effects of SWC investments are only observed if one controls for household-specific constraints. We use a production function approach to relate SWC to farm output, and we control for observable and unobservable housrhold characteristics with household fixed effects. The results show that (1)there are large productivity effects of indigenous SWC investments in the Boukombe region of Benin, (2) there is a positive interaction between fertilizer use and SWC on productivity, (3) the productivity of SWC has an inverted U-shape in plot slope. Misspecification tests for omitted variable bias, endogeneity bias, and selection bias are performed and show that the results are robust.
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