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Employment dynamics in the rural nonfarm sector in Ethiopia Do the poor have time on their side?


  • Bezu, Sosina
  • Barrett, Christopher B.


We study rural employment transitions in Ethiopia between farming and both low- and high-return nonfarm employment. We find that initial asset holdings and access to saving and credit are important factors for transition into high-return rural nonfarm employment and that households’ participation in high-return rural nonfarm activities is robust to their experience of health shocks. However, shocks that affect their wealth or liquidity may trigger descents into low-return nonfarm employment. On the other hand, shocks that reduce agricultural income motivate transitions into high-return rural nonfarm employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Bezu, Sosina & Barrett, Christopher B., 2010. "Employment dynamics in the rural nonfarm sector in Ethiopia Do the poor have time on their side?," MPRA Paper 35756, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35756

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    Cited by:

    1. Van den Broeck, Goedele & Swinnen, Johan & Maertens, Miet, 2017. "Global value chains, large-scale farming, and poverty: Long-term effects in Senegal," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 97-107.
    2. Davis, Benjamin & Di Giuseppe, Stefania & Zezza, Alberto, 2017. "Are African households (not) leaving agriculture? Patterns of households’ income sources in rural Sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 153-174.
    3. Kosec, Katrina & Ghebru, Hosaena & Holtemeyer, Brian & Mueller, Valerie & Schmidt, Emily, 2016. "The effect of land inheritance on youth employment and migration decisions: Evidence from rural Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1594, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Rijkers, Bob & Söderbom, Måns, 2013. "The Effects of Risk and Shocks on Non-Farm Enterprise Development in Rural Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 119-136.
    5. Holden, Stein & Bezu, Sosina, 2013. "Land Access and Youth Livelihood Opportunities in Southern Ethiopia," CLTS Working Papers 11/13, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Centre for Land Tenure Studies.
    6. Davis, Benjamin & Di Giuseppe, Stefania & Zezza, Alberto, 2014. "Income diversification patterns in rural Sub-Saharan Africa : reassessing the evidence," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7108, The World Bank.
    7. Szirmai A. & Gebreeyesus M. & Guadagno F. & Verspagen B., 2013. "Promoting productive employment in Sub‐Saharan Africa : a review of the literature," MERIT Working Papers 062, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    8. Schmidt, Emily & Bekele, Firew, 2016. "Rural youth and employment in Ethiopia," ESSP working papers 98, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Nagler, Paula & Naudé, Wim, 2014. "Young Entrepreneurs in Rural Africa: Prevalence, Determinants, Productivity," IZA Discussion Papers 8564, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Newman Carol & Kinghan Christina, 2015. "Economic transformation and the diversification of livelihoods in rural Viet Nam," WIDER Working Paper Series 064, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Mintewab Bezabih & Andrea Mannberg & Eyerusalem Siba, 2014. "The land certification program and off-farm employment in Ethiopia," GRI Working Papers 168, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    12. repec:wbk:wbpubs:28971 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    rural nonfarm; income diversification; employment transitions; Ethiopia; shocks;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor


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