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Livelihood Strategies in Rural South Africa: Implications for Poverty Reduction

  • Alemu, Zerihun Gudeta
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    This paper has the objective of identifying dominant livelihood strategies in rural South Africa. It differs from previous studies done for South Africa in that it analyses a recent large household survey; classifies livelihood strategies into four broad and eight specific livelihood strategy groups and matches them with welfare strata of rural households; and analyzes socio-economic constraints poor households face to enter into high return livelihood strategies. Two approaches are applied to achieve these objectives -stochastic dominance test and multinomial logistic regression. It finds that households that generate income from wage employment in non-farm and farm activities are better off than other households. Analysis of the socio-economic characteristics of rural households also reveals that age, labour endowment, education, and community characteristics in terms of access to basic infrastructure are some of the barriers that poor households in rural areas face to enter into high-return livelihood strategies.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/125411
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    Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil with number 125411.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:125411
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.iaae-agecon.org/
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    1. Janvry, Alain de & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2001. "Income Strategies Among Rural Households in Mexico: The Role of Off-farm Activities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 467-480, March.
    2. Stifel, David, 2010. "The rural non-farm economy, livelihood strategies and household welfare," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 4(1), March.
    3. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "Intersectoral Transfer, Growth, and Inequality in Rural Ecuador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 481-496, March.
    4. Carter, Michael R. & May, Julian, 1999. "Poverty, livelihood and class in rural South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-20, January.
    5. Deininger, Klaus & Olinto, Pedro, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Employment and Income Diversification in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 455-465, March.
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    7. Dercon, Stefan, 1998. "Wealth, risk and activity choice: cattle in Western Tanzania," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 1-42, February.
    8. Davidson, R. & Duclos, J.-Y., 1998. "Statistical Inference for Stochastic Dominance and for the Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 98a14, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
    9. Leibbrandt, Murray & Woolard, Christopher & Woolard, Ingrid, 2000. "The Contribution of Income Components to Income Inequality in the Rural Former Homelands of South Africa: A Decomposable Gini Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 9(1), pages 79-99, March.
    10. Escobal, Javier, 2001. "The Determinants of Nonfarm Income Diversification in Rural Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 497-508, March.
    11. Smith, Davd Rider & Gordon, Ann & Meadows, Kate & Zwick, Karen, 2001. "Livelihood diversification in Uganda: patterns and determinants of change across two rural districts," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 421-435, August.
    12. Perret, Sylvain R. & Anseeuw, Ward & Mathebula, F., 2005. "Poverty and livelihoods in rural South Africa: Investigating diversity and dynamics of livelihoods. Case studies in Limpopo," Working Papers 60885, University of Pretoria, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development.
    13. Brown, Douglas R. & Stephens, Emma C. & Ouma, James Okuro & Murithi, Festus M. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2006. "Livelihood strategies in the rural Kenyan highlands," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 1(1), December.
    14. von Braun, Joachim & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul, 1991. "Income sources of malnourished people in rural areas: Microlevel information and policy implications," IFPRI working papers 5, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Abdulai, Awudu & CroleRees, Anna, 2001. "Determinants of income diversification amongst rural households in Southern Mali," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 437-452, August.
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