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Asset dynamics in Northern Nigeria:

  • Dillon, Andrew
  • Quiñones, Esteban J.

This paper examines household asset dynamics and gender-differentiated asset inequality over a 20-year period (1988–2008) in northern Nigeria. We show that the initial endowments of both household capital and livestock holdings are inconsistent with the poverty trap hypothesis but that tracking rules for households in panel surveys may lead to differences in empirical results on poverty traps. We also investigate whether initial household endowments contributed to gender-differentiated future asset levels and asset inequality. Initial livestock holdings have an effect on women's future livestock holdings but not on their livestock shares within the household, as the effect of initial livestock holdings on men's future livestock levels was much greater than its effect on women's levels. The mechanism through which asset levels differed was related to the relative prices of the assets in gender-differentiated asset portfolios. Men, who primarily held larger livestock with larger unit values, benefited from large price increases in high-value livestock, while women held lower-value livestock. These price fluctuations reinforced gender asset inequality within households for both types of assets considered.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1049.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1049
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  1. Quisumbing, Agnes R. & de la Briere, Benedicte, 2000. "Women's assets and intrahousehold allocation in rural Bangladesh," FCND discussion papers 86, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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  8. Udry, Christopher, 1990. "Credit Markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as Insurance in a Rural Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 251-69, September.
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  11. Zimmerman, Frederick J. & Carter, Michael R., 2003. "Asset smoothing, consumption smoothing and the reproduction of inequality under risk and subsistence constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 233-260, August.
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  15. Carter, Michael R. & Little, Peter D. & Mogues, Tewodaj & Negatu, Workneh, 2007. "Poverty Traps and Natural Disasters in Ethiopia and Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 835-856, May.
  16. Francisca Antman & David McKenzie, 2007. "Poverty traps and nonlinear income dynamics with measurement error and individual heterogeneity," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 1057-1083.
  17. Pauline Peters, 2006. "Rural income and poverty in a time of radical change in Malawi," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 322-345.
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  22. Andrew Dillon & Valerie Mueller & Sheu Salau, 2011. "Migratory Responses to Agricultural Risk in Northern Nigeria," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1048-1061.
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