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Participation by men and women in off-farm activities: An empirical analysis in rural northern Ghana

  • McCarthy, Nancy
  • Sun, Yan
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"Using survey data from the Upper East region of Ghana collected in 2005, the paper evaluates the household- and community-level factors influencing women's and men's decisions to participate in off-farm activities, either in the off-farm labor market or in local community groups, and the relationship with on-farm crop returns. Results indicate that crop returns are not affected by increased labor availability over a certain labor-land ratio. Female participation in off-farm labor markets increases at higher levels of labor availability, but participation in women's groups' only increases as labor scarcity is relaxed at lower levels. Alternatively, male participation in off-farm work increases over all levels of labor availability. Results also indicate that male labor is relatively more productive on-farm versus off-farm than female labor, and, though education increases the likelihood that both women and men will work off-farm (with no impact on crop revenues), the impact is greater for women. Finally, participation in off-farm work does not appear to be driven by the need to reduce exposure to risk or to manage risk ex post; wealthier households located in wealthier communities are more likely to participate in off-farm work. Evidence for participation in groups and risk is more complicated; wealthier households in wealthier communities are also more likely to participate, but so too are female-headed households with higher dependency ratios." from authors' abstract

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 852.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:852
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  1. Matshe, Innocent & Young, Trevor, 2004. "Off-farm labour allocation decisions in small-scale rural households in Zimbabwe," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 30(3), pages 175-186, May.
  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. Feder, Gershon, 1985. "The relation between farm size and farm productivity : The role of family labor, supervision and credit constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 297-313, August.
  4. Michael Kevane, 1996. "Agrarian Structure and Agricultural Practice: Typology and Application to Western Sudan," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(1), pages 236-245.
  5. Awudu Abdulai & Christopher L. Delgado, 1999. "Determinants of Nonfarm Earnings of Farm-Based Husbands and Wives in Northern Ghana," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(1), pages 117-130.
  6. Moschini, Giancarlo & Hennessy, David A., 2001. "Uncertainty, risk aversion, and risk management for agricultural producers," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 88-153 Elsevier.
  7. Jolliffe, Dean, 2004. "The impact of education in rural Ghana: examining household labor allocation and returns on and off the farm," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 287-314, February.
  8. Holden, Stein & Shiferaw, Bekele & Pender, John, 2004. "Non-farm income, household welfare, and sustainable land management in a less-favoured area in the Ethiopian highlands," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 369-392, August.
  9. Taylor, J Edward & Rozelle, Scott & de Brauw, Alan, 2003. "Migration and Incomes in Source Communities: A New Economics of Migration Perspective from China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 75-101, October.
  10. Grootaert, Christiaan & Narayan, Deepa, 2001. "Local institutions, poverty, and household welfare in Bolivia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2644, The World Bank.
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