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Rural Income Generating Activities: Whatever Happened to the Institutional Vacuum? Evidence from Ghana, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Vietnam

  • Alberto Zezza

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

  • Gero Carletto

    (World Bank)

  • Benjamin Davis

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

  • Kostas Stamoulis

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

  • Paul Winters

    (American University)

This paper assesses the current rural development practice against the main trends in recent rural development thinking, based on evidence from four country case studies. While much progress has been made in understanding the need to look beyond only agriculture for the promotion of productive activities in rural areas, and the ‘institutional vacuum’ consistently identified in the rural non-farm literature is gradually being filled, much remains to be done. One aspect on which more research is particularly needed is the development of better mechanisms to promote productive investment rather than just social investment and to assess the appropriate level – community, regional, national – at which to do this.

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Paper provided by Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) in its series Working Papers with number 07-24.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fao:wpaper:0724
Contact details of provider: Postal: Agricultural Sector in Economic Development Service FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 00153 Rome Italy
Phone: +39(6) 57051
Fax: +39 06 57055522
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  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. Bardhan, Pranab & Mookherjee, Dilip, 2005. "Decentralizing antipoverty program delivery in developing countries," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 675-704, April.
  4. Haggblade, Steven & Hazell, P. B. R. & Reardon, Thomas, 2002. "Strategies for stimulating poverty-alleviating growth in the rural nonfarm economy in developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 92, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966.
  6. 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.
  7. Marlien Lourens, 2007. "Route tourism: a roadmap for successful destinations and local economic development," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(3), pages 475-490.
  8. Galasso, Emanuela & Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Decentralized targeting of an antipoverty program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 705-727, April.
  9. Pranab Bardhan, 2004. "Governance Issues in Delivery of Public Services," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(1), pages i167-i182, July.
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