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The Role of Soil Conservation on Mean Crop Yield and Variance of Yield: Evidence from the Ethiopian Highlands

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  • Kassie, Menale
  • Pender, John
  • Yesuf, Mahmud
  • Köhln, Gunnar
  • Mulugeta, Elias

Abstract

Land degradation has been one of the major areas of concern in Ethiopia. Governments and development agencies have invested substantial resources to promote land management technologies and reduce land degradation. However, there is little understanding of the impacts that land management technologies have on yield and yield variability. This paper investigates the impact of stone bunds on mean yield and variance of yield, using multiple plot observations per household in low- and high-rainfall areas of the Ethiopian highlands. Our analysis incorporated the propensity score matching method, stochastic dominance analysis, and exogenous and endogenous switching regression methods. We found statistically significant and positive impact of stone bunds on yield in low-rainfall areas. This did not hold in high-rainfall areas. We did not find a statistically significant stone-bund impact on production risk in either high- or low-rainfall areas. The results were robust to both parametric and non-parametric analysis. The overall conclusion from the analysis is that the performance of stone bunds varies by agro-ecology type. This implies the need for designing and implementing appropriate technologies that enhance productivity and are better adapted to local conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Kassie, Menale & Pender, John & Yesuf, Mahmud & Köhln, Gunnar & Mulugeta, Elias, 2008. "The Role of Soil Conservation on Mean Crop Yield and Variance of Yield: Evidence from the Ethiopian Highlands," Discussion Papers dp-08-08-efd, Resources For the Future.
  • Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-08-08-efd
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    2. Wagayehu Bekele, 2005. "Stochastic Dominance Analysis of Soil and Water Conservation in Subsistence Crop Production in the Eastern Ethiopian Highlands: The Case of the Hunde-Lafto Area," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 32(4), pages 533-550, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Switching regression; stochastic dominance; propensity score matching; stone bunds; yield; yield risk; Ethiopia;

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land

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