IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fao/wpaper/0716.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Rural Income Generating Activities; A Cross Country Comparison

Author

Listed:
  • Benjamin Davis

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Paul Winters

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Gero Carletto

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Katia Covarrubias

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Esteban Quinones

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Alberto Zezza

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Kostas Stamoulis

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Genny Bonomi

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

  • Stefania DiGiuseppe

    (Agricultural and Development Economics Division, Food and Agriculture Organization)

Abstract

This paper uses a newly constructed cross country database composed of comparable variables and aggregates from household surveys to examine the full range of income generating activities carried out by rural households in order to determine: 1) the relative importance of the gamut of income generating activities in general and across wealth categories; 2), the relative importance of diversification versus specialization at the household level; 3) the relationship between key household assets and the participation in and income earned from these activities; and 4) the influence of rural income generating activities on poverty and inequality. Analysis of the RIGA cross country dataset paints a clear picture of multiple activities across rural space and diversification across rural households. This is true across countries in all four continents, though less so in the African countries included in the dataset. For most countries the largest share of income stems from off farm activities, and the largest share of households have diversified sources of income. Diversification, not specialization, is the norm, although most countries show significant levels of household specialization in non-agricultural activities as well. Nevertheless, agricultural based sources of income remain critically important for rural livelihoods in all countries, both in terms of the overall share of agriculture in rural incomes as well as the large share of households that still specialize in agricultural sources of income.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Davis & Paul Winters & Gero Carletto & Katia Covarrubias & Esteban Quinones & Alberto Zezza & Kostas Stamoulis & Genny Bonomi & Stefania DiGiuseppe, 2007. "Rural Income Generating Activities; A Cross Country Comparison," Working Papers 07-16, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  • Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0716
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/ah853e/ah853e.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benjamin Davis & Marco Stampini, 2002. "Pathways Towards Prosperity in Rural Nicaragua: Why households drop in and out of poverty, and some policy suggestions on how to keep them out," Working Papers 02-12, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
    2. Ruben, Ruerd & Van den berg, Marrit, 2001. "Nonfarm Employment and Poverty Alleviation of Rural Farm Households in Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 549-560, March.
    3. Reardon, Thomas & Taylor, J. Edward, 1996. "Agroclimatic shock, income inequality, and poverty: Evidence from Burkina Faso," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 901-914, May.
    4. Adams, Richard H. Jr. & He, Jane J., 1995. "Sources of income inequality and poverty in rural Pakistan:," Research reports 102, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Zhang, Xiaobo & Li, Guo, 2003. "Does guanxi matter to nonfarm employment?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 315-331, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "Intersectoral Transfer, Growth, and Inequality in Rural Ecuador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 481-496, March.
    8. Jonathan Morduch & Terry Sicular, 2002. "Rethinking Inequality Decomposition, With Evidence from Rural China," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 93-106, January.
    9. Winters, Paul & Davis, Benjamin & Corral, Leonardo, 2002. "Assets, activities and income generation in rural Mexico: factoring in social and public capital," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 27(2), pages 139-156, August.
    10. Chinn, Dennis L, 1979. "Rural Poverty and the Structure of Farm Household Income in Developing Countries: Evidence from Taiwan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 283-301, January.
    11. Alberto Isgut, 2004. "Non-farm Income and Employment in Rural Honduras: Assessing the Role of Locational Factors," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 59-86.
    12. Reardon, Thomas & Berdegue, Julio & Escobar, German, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Employment and Incomes in Latin America: Overview and Policy Implications," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 395-409, March.
    13. J. Edward Taylor & Antonio Yunez-Naude, 2000. "The Returns from Schooling in a Diversified Rural Economy," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(2), pages 287-297.
    14. Yunez-Naude, Antonio & Edward Taylor, J., 2001. "The Determinants of Nonfarm Activities and Incomes of Rural Households in Mexico, with Emphasis on Education," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 561-572, March.
    15. Adams, Richard H, Jr, 2002. "Nonfarm Income, Inequality, and Land in Rural Egypt," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(2), pages 339-363, January.
    16. Ferreira, Francisco H. G. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Activities and Poverty in the Brazilian Northeast," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 509-528, March.
    17. Marcel Fafchamps & Forhad Shilpi, 2003. "The spatial division of labour in Nepal," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(6), pages 23-66.
    18. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 2001. "Estimating Wealth Effects Without Expenditure Data—Or Tears: An Application To Educational Enrollments In States Of India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 115-132, February.
    19. Lanjouw, Peter, 1999. "Rural Nonagricultural Employment and Poverty in Ecuador," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 91-122, October.
    20. 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.
    21. Thomas Reardon & J. Edward Taylor & Kostas Stamoulis & Peter Lanjouw & Arsenio Balisacan, 2000. "Effects of Non‐Farm Employment on Rural Income Inequality in Developing Countries: An Investment Perspective," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 266-288, May.
    22. Corral, Leonardo & Reardon, Thomas, 2001. "Rural Nonfarm Incomes in Nicaragua," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 427-442, March.
    23. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "The rural non-farm sector: issues and evidence from developing countries," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 1-23, October.
    24. Lanjouw, Peter & Quizon, Jaime & Sparrow, Robert, 2001. "Non-agricultural earnings in peri-urban areas of Tanzania: evidence from household survey data," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 385-403, August.
    25. A. Allan Schmid, 1972. "Analytical Institutional Economics: Challenging Problems in the Economics of Resources for a New Environment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 54(5), pages 893-901.
    26. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Winters, Paul & Davis, Benjamin & Carletto, Gero & Covarrubias, Katia & Quiñones, Esteban J. & Zezza, Alberto & Azzarri, Carlo & Stamoulis, Kostas, 2009. "Assets, Activities and Rural Income Generation: Evidence from a Multicountry Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1435-1452, September.
    2. Davis, Benjamin & Winters, Paul & Carletto, Gero & Covarrubias, Katia & Quiñones, Esteban J. & Zezza, Alberto & Stamoulis, Kostas & Azzarri, Carlo & DiGiuseppe, Stefania, 2010. "A Cross-Country Comparison of Rural Income Generating Activities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 48-63, January.
    3. Pascual, Unai & Barbier, Edward B., 2005. "On- And Off-Farm Labor Decisions By Slash-And-Burn Farmers In Yucatan (Mexico)," Environmental Economy and Policy Research Discussion Papers 31926, University of Cambridge, Department of Land Economy.
    4. Escobal, Javier, 2005. "The Role of Public Infraestructure in Market Development in Rural Peru," MPRA Paper 727, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Francesca Marchetta, 2013. "Migration and nonfarm activities as income diversification strategies: the case of Northern Ghana," Post-Print halshs-03261109, HAL.
    6. Dil Bahadur Rahut Chhetri & Pradyot Ranjan Jena & Akhter Ali & Bhagirath Behera & Nar Bahadur Chhetri, 2015. "Rural Nonfarm Employment, Income, and Inequality: Evidence from Bhutan," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 32(2), pages 65-94, September.
    7. Haggblade, Steven & Hazell, Peter & Reardon, Thomas, 2010. "The Rural Non-farm Economy: Prospects for Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1429-1441, October.
    8. Winters, Paul C. & Corral, Leonardo & Gordillo, Gustavo, 2001. "Rural Livelihood Strategies and Social Capital in Latin America: Implications for Rural Development Projects," Working Papers 12947, University of New England, School of Economics.
    9. Justin van der Sluis & Mirjam van Praag & Wim Vijverberg, 2003. "Entrepreneurship Selection and Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-046/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 24 Sep 2004.
    10. Zhu, Nong & Luo, Xubei, 2006. "Nonfarm activity and rural income inequality : a case study of two provinces in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3811, The World Bank.
    11. Erik Jonasson & Steven M Helfand, 2008. "Locational Determinants of Rural Non-agricultural Employment: Evidence From Brazil," Working Papers 200802, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2008.
    12. Francesca Marchetta, 2008. "Migration and non farm activities as income diversification strategies: the case of Northern Ghana," Working Papers - Economics wp2008_16.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
    13. Adugna, Lemi, 2009. "Determinants of Income Diversification in Rural Ethiopia: evidence From Panel Data," Ethiopian Journal of Economics, Ethiopian Economics Association, vol. 18(1), pages 116-116, December.
    14. Dedehouanou, Sènakpon Fidèle Ange & Araar, Abdelkrim & Ousseini, Aichatou & Harouna, Abdoulaziz Laouali & Jabir, Maimounata, 2018. "Spillovers from off-farm self-employment opportunities in rural Niger," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 428-442.
    15. Gero Carletto & Katia Covarrubias & Benjamin Davis & Marika Krausova & Kostas Stamoulis & Paul Winters & Alberto Zezza, 2007. "Rural income generating activities in developing countries: re-assessing the evidence," The Electronic Journal of Agricultural and Development Economics, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, vol. 4(1), pages 146-193.
    16. Adugna Lemi, "undated". "The Dynamics of Income Diversification in Ethiopia: Evidence from Panel data," Working Papers 3, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
    17. Zhu, Nong & Luo, Xubei, 2008. "The impact of remittances on rural poverty and inequality in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4637, The World Bank.
    18. Bezu, Sosina & Barrett, Christopher B., 2010. "Activity Choice in Rural Non-farm Employment (RNFE): Survival versus accumulative strategy," MPRA Paper 55034, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    19. Jonasson, Erik & Helfand, Steven M., 2010. "How Important are Locational Characteristics for Rural Non-agricultural Employment? Lessons from Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 727-741, May.
    20. Md.Salamun Rashidin & Sara Javed & Bin Liu & Wang Jian, 2020. "Ramifications of Households’ Nonfarm Income on Agricultural Productivity: Evidence From a Rural Area of Pakistan," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(1), pages 21582440209, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    rural non farm; income diversification; household surveys.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0716. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/faoooit.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Gustavo Anríquez The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Gustavo Anríquez to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/faoooit.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.