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Participation in Off-Farm Employment, Risk Preferences, and Weather Variability: The Case of Ethiopia

  • Bezabih, Mintewab
  • Gebreegziabher, Zenebe
  • GebreMedhin, Liyousew
  • Kohlin, Gunnar

This article assesses the relative importance of risk preferences and rainfall availability on households’ decision to engage in off-farm employment. Devoting time for off-farm activities, while it helps households earn additional incomes, involves a number of uncertainties. Unique panel data from Ethiopia which includes experimentally generated risk preference measures combined with longitudinal rainfall data is used in the analysis. An off farm participation decision and activity choice showed that both variability and reduced availability of rainfall as well as neutral risk preferences increase the likelihood of off-farm participation. From policy perspective, the results imply that expanding off farm opportunities could act as safety nets in the face of weather uncertainty. In addition, policy initiatives geared towards encouraging income diversification through off farm employment need to address underlying factor that condition risk bearing ability of households.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/95784
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Paper provided by African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) & Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA) in its series 2010 AAAE Third Conference/AEASA 48th Conference, September 19-23, 2010, Cape Town, South Africa with number 95784.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaae10:95784
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  1. Stefan Dercon & Luc Christiaensen, 2008. "Consumption risk, technology adoption and poverty traps: evidence from Ethiopia," WEF Working Papers 0035, ESRC World Economy and Finance Research Programme, Birkbeck, University of London.
  2. Deininger, Klaus & Jin, Songqing, 2006. "Tenure security and land-related investment: Evidence from Ethiopia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1245-1277, July.
  3. Dercon, Stefan, 2002. "Income Risk, Coping Strategies and Safety Nets," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Household income dynamics in rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2706, The World Bank.
  5. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  6. Berdegue, Julio A. & Ramirez, Eduardo & Reardon, Thomas & Escobar, German, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Employment and Incomes in Chile," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 411-425, March.
  7. Bezu, Sosina & Barrett, Christopher B. & Holden, Stein, 2014. "Activity Choice in Rural Non-farm Employment (RNFE): Survival versus accumulative strategy," CLTS Working Papers 11/14, Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences.
  8. Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Binswanger, Hans P., 1989. "Wealth, Weather Risk and the Composition and Profitability of Agricultural Investments," Bulletins 7455, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
  9. Frank Ellis, 1998. "Household strategies and rural livelihood diversification," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 1-38.
  10. Clay, Daniel C. & Molla, Daniel & Habtewold, Debebe, 1999. "Food aid targeting in Ethiopia: A study of who needs it and who gets it," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 391-409, August.
  11. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "The rural non-farm sector: issues and evidence from developing countries," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 26(1), October.
  12. Sophia Rabe-Hesketh & Anders Skrondal & Andrew Pickles, 2004. "GLLAMM Manual," U.C. Berkeley Division of Biostatistics Working Paper Series 1160, Berkeley Electronic Press.
  13. 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.
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