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Paving the Way for Development: The Impact of Road Infrastructure on Agricultural Production and Household Wealth in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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  • Ulimwengu, John M.
  • Funes, Jose
  • Headey, Derek D.
  • You, Liang

Abstract

Given its vast land resources and favorable water supply, the Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC) natural agricultural potential is immense. However, the economic potential of the sector is handicapped by one of the most dilapidated transport systems in the developing world (World Bank, 2006). Road investments are therefore a high priority in the government's investment plans, and those of its major donors. Whilst these are encouraging signs, very little is known about how the existing road network constrains agricultural and rural development, and how these new road investments would address these constraints. To inform this issue the present paper primarily employs GIS-based data to assess the impact of market access on agricultural and rural development (ARD). Compared to existing work, however, the paper makes a number of innovations to improve and extend the generic techniques used to estimate the importance of market access for ARD. First, the DRC road network data is augmented with survey-based data from Minten and Kyle (1999) on agricultural transport times to calculate improved “market access” measures for the DRC. Second, we follow Dorosh et al (2009) in estimating the long run relationship between market access and agricultural production, although we also investigate the relationship with household wealth. Finally, we run simulations of how proposed infrastructure investments would affect market access, and how market access would in turn affect agricultural production and household wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulimwengu, John M. & Funes, Jose & Headey, Derek D. & You, Liang, 2009. "Paving the Way for Development: The Impact of Road Infrastructure on Agricultural Production and Household Wealth in the Democratic Republic of Congo," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49292, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49292
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jacoby, Hanan C, 2000. "Access to Markets and the Benefits of Rural Roads," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(465), pages 713-737, July.
    2. Filmer, Deon*Pritchett, Lant, 1998. "Estimating wealth effects without expenditure data - or tears : with an application to educational enrollments in states of India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1994, The World Bank.
    3. Binswanger, Hans P. & Khandker, Shahidur R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1993. "How infrastructure and financial institutions affect agricultural output and investment in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 337-366, August.
    4. Xavier Cirera & Channing Arndt, 2008. "Measuring the impact of road rehabilitation on spatial market efficiency in maize markets in Mozambique," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(1), pages 17-28, July.
    5. Minten, Bart & Kyle, Steven, 1999. "The effect of distance and road quality on food collection, marketing margins, and traders' wages: evidence from the former Zaire," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 467-495, December.
    6. You, Liangzhi & Wood, Stanley, 2006. "An entropy approach to spatial disaggregation of agricultural production," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 90(1-3), pages 329-347, October.
    7. Dorosh, Paul & Wang, Hyoung-Gun & You, Liang & Schmidt, Emily, 2010. "Crop production and road connectivity in Sub-Saharan Africa : a spatial analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5385, The World Bank.
    8. Ruijs, Arjan & Schweigman, Caspar & Lutz, Clemens, 2004. "The impact of transport- and transaction-cost reductions on food markets in developing countries: evidence for tempered expectations for Burkina Faso," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 31(2-3), pages 219-228, December.
    9. Wood, Stanley & Sebastian, Kate & Nachtergaele, Freddy & Nielsen, Daniel & Dai, Aiguo, 1999. "Spatial aspects of the design and targeting of agricultural development strategies:," EPTD discussion papers 44, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:9:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0727-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ecker, Olivier & Breisinger, Clemens & McCool, Christen & Diao, Xinshen & Funes, Jose & You, Liangzhi & Yu, Bingxin, 2010. "Assessing food security in Yemen," IFPRI discussion papers 982, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Ghani, Ejaz & Goswami, Arti Grover & Kerr, William R., 2013. "The golden quadrilateral highway project and urban/rural manufacturing in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6620, The World Bank.
    4. World Bank, 2011. "Facilitating Cross-Border Trade between the DRC and Neighbors in the Great Lakes Region of Africa : Improving Conditions for Poor Traders
      [Faciliter le commerce transfrontalier entre la RDC et les
      ," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2785, The World Bank.
    5. Ghani, Ejaz & Goswami, Arti Grover & Kerr, William R., 2013. "Highway to success in India : the impact of the golden quadrilateral project for the location and performance of manufacturing," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6320, The World Bank.
    6. Breisinger, Clemens & Ecker, Olivier & Funes, Jose & Yu, Bingxin, 2010. "Food as the basis for development and security: A strategy for Yemen," IFPRI discussion papers 1036, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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