Trade and Resources: Welfare effects of the Lake Victoria fisheries boom
In this paper we examine the welfare implications of the Tanzanian fisheries boom following from the increase in quantities and prices of the Lake Victoria Nile perch export during 1993-2008. We use the theoretical model by Brander and Taylor (1997) that we try to test empirically. We have a micro level perspective using data from a 1993 World Bank household survey and our own study from 2008, both containing data from about 520 households in the two regions Mwanza and Mara by the lake. Our results indicate that average income has increased in both rural and urban areas. For the poorest part of the population, rural areas experienced only modestly and non-significantly reductions in the fraction below basic needs, while urban areas had a substantial reduction. However, growth was modest and inequality seems to have increased during the period. Concerning human capital measured as education for the household head we found substantial improvements in educational level and a simple regression model confirmed the significant impact of education on household income. We also found that households on average are better off when situated close to the lake.
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