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Agricultural technology and poverty reduction: a micro-level analysis of causal effects

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  • Mariapia MENDOLA

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Abstract

Agricultural technology opens great opportunities of increasing food grain production in land scarce countries. But questions are raised about the potential adverse or favourable impact of new technology on economic conditions of the poor. This study is aimed at contributing to the debate about the relative importance of "direct effects" of agricultural technology adoption in poverty alleviation strategies. It does so through an empirical investigation of the relationship between technological change, of the Green Revolution type, and wellbeing of smallholder farm households in two rural Bangladeshi regions. The paper tackles a methodological issue in assessing the "causal effect" of technological change on farm-household wellbeing through the non-parametric p-score matching analysis. It pursues a targeted evaluation of whether adopting a modern seed technology causes resource-poor farmers to improve their income and decrease the propensity to fall below the poverty line. It finds a robust and positive effect of agricultural technology adoption on farm household wellbeing suggesting that there is a large scope for enhancing the role of agricultural technology in "directly" contributing to poverty alleviation.

Suggested Citation

  • Mariapia MENDOLA, 2005. "Agricultural technology and poverty reduction: a micro-level analysis of causal effects," Departmental Working Papers 2005-14, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2005-14
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    Cited by:

    1. Mariapia Mendola, 2004. "Migration and Technological Change in Rural Households: Complements or Substitutes?," Development Working Papers 195, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    2. Berhe Gebregewergs Hagos & Muuz Hadush, 2017. "Does Improved Wheat Seed Adoption Benefit Farmers? Empirical Evidence from Southern Tigrai, Ethiopia," Journal of Agriculture and Crops, Academic Research Publishing Group, vol. 3(1), pages 1-11, 01-2017.
    3. Mendola, Mariapia, 2008. "Migration and technological change in rural households: Complements or substitutes?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 150-175.
    4. Ibrahim, Mohammed & Florkowski, Wojciech J. & Kolavalli, Shashidhara, 2012. "Determinants of Farmer Adoption of Improved Peanut Varieties and their Impact on Farm Income: Evidence from Northern Ghana," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125000, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Farm household behaviour; Technology adoption; Poverty alleviation; Propensity score matching;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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