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Empowering Rural People for Their Own Development

  • Binswanger, Hans P.

This Elmhirst lecture first discusses the features of the institutional environment which allow rural people in low income countries to design, plan and implement their own rural development. These are divided into two broad groups: the institutional environment for rural development (environment for the private sector, communities and civil society, local government, and sector institutions) and the many factors governing profitability of investment in agriculture. While in many poor countries the institutional environment has improved over the last 20 years, the most poorly performing countries still have by far the poorest environment for local government in the world. Within an empowering institutional environment, the rate of agricultural and rural development is determined by investments of many different types that in turn depend primarily on the profitability of agriculture. The paper discusses the large number of factors which determine profitability. Few of these are under the direct control of farmers or agricultural sector institutions, but depend on governance and investments in other sectors such as trade and transport. In many of the poorest countries there has been considerable improvement in macroeconomic management and sector policies over the past 20 years, but progress in international and intra-regional trade policies, in agricultural trade policies, in transport infrastructure, and in agricultural research and extension have been limited.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/25713
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Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia with number 25713.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae06:25713
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  1. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "How Have the World's Poorest Fared since the Early 1980s?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-169.
  2. Alston, Julian M. & Pardey, Philip G. & Taylor, Michael J., 2001. "Agricultural science policy," Food policy statements 32, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Binswanger, Hans P. & Deininger, Klaus & Feder, Gershon, 1993. "Power, distortions, revolt, and reform in agricultural land relations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1164, The World Bank.
  4. Heath, John & Binswanger, Hans, 1996. "Natural resource degradation effects of poverty and population growth are largely policy-induced: the case of Colombia," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 65-84, February.
  5. Binswanger, Hans P. & Khandker, Shahidur R & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1989. "How infrastructure and financial institutions affect agricultural output and investment in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 163, The World Bank.
  6. K. Anderson & R. Tyers, 1993. "More On Welfare Gains To Developing Countries From Liberalizing World Food Trade," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 189-204.
  7. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
  8. Hans P. Binswanger, 2000. "The Growth Performance of Agriculture in Subsaharan Africa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1075-1086.
  9. Merlinda D. Ingco & John D. Nash, 2004. "Agriculture and the WTO : Creating a Trading System for Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14930.
  10. Binswanger, Hans & Yang, Maw-Cheng & Bowers, Alan & Mundlak, Yair, 1987. "On the determinants of cross-country aggregate agricultural supply," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 111-131.
  11. Binswanger, Hans P & McIntire, John, 1987. "Behavioral and Material Determinants of Production Relations in Land-Abundant Tropical Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 73-99, October.
  12. Schultz, T. Paul, 1988. "Education investments and returns," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 543-630 Elsevier.
  13. Hans P. Binswanger & Klaus Deininger, 1997. "Explaining Agricultural and Agrarian Policies in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1958-2005, December.
  14. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1995. "Growth and poverty in rural India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1405, The World Bank.
  15. Gary S. Becker, 1984. "Public Policies, Pressure Groups, and Dead Weight Costs," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 35, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  16. Clive Bell & Shantayanan Devarajan & Hans Gersbach, 2003. "The long-run economic costs of AIDS : theory and an application to South Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3152, The World Bank.
  17. Yair Mundlak, 2001. "Explaining Economic Growth," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1154-1167.
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