IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Smallholder Supply Response and Gender in Ethiopia: A Profit Function Analysis


  • Abrar Suleiman

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)


Empirical studies on gender and agricultural productivity are typically based on production function estimates of a single crop or aggregate output, ignoring the role of prices and endogeneity of input choice. We apply the profit function approach to farm-level data from Ethiopia to compare supply response between male and female farmers, incorporating the full range of crops and prices and non-price incentives. Gender-differential in labor productivity is accounted for by including separate variables for adult male and female labor as well as child labor. We find that women respond to price incentives as strongly as men farmers do, but responsiveness largely depends on the type of crops and the relative importance of binding constraints. In contrast to price responses, differences in the non-price effects are not qualitatively different between the two groups, with location-specific factors soliciting significantly larger share of output response than household-specific factors. The data shows that female-headed farmers are more likely to be asset-poor subsistence farmers living in climatically less favored areas; consequently, constrained by limited access to better quality land, male labor and animal traction to diversify into high-yielding fertilizer-intensive food crops. Gender-targeted interventions that explicitly address low endowment of capital by women are likely to pay-off, as well as technologies that improve the productivity of land and labor. Well-integrated pro-poor policies that facilitate access to basic physical capital and credit are equally important. Our findings suggest that broad-based price and fertilizer policies are unlikely to be optimal, as they do not target the prevailing crop and agro-climatic mixes. Broad-based infrastructure and market access policies, on the other hand, are more likely to benefit all farmers.

Suggested Citation

  • Abrar Suleiman, 2004. "Smallholder Supply Response and Gender in Ethiopia: A Profit Function Analysis," Working Papers 2004007, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2004007

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2004
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    File Function: Revised version, 2004
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-1046, October.
    2. Savadogo, Kimseyinga & Reardon, Thomas & Pietola, Kyosti, 1995. "Mechanization and Agricultural Supply Response in the Sahel: A Farm-Level Profit Function Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 4(3), pages 336-377, December.
    3. Evers, Barbara & Walters, Bernard, 2000. "Extra-Household Factors and Women Farmers' Supply Response in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1341-1345, July.
    4. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1996. "Male-female differences in agricultural productivity: Methodological issues and empirical evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1579-1595, October.
    5. Warner, James M. & Campbell, D. A., 2000. "Supply Response in an Agrarian Economy with Non-Symmetric Gender Relations," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 1327-1340, July.
    6. Suleiman Abrar & Oliver Morrissey & Tony Rayner, 2004. "Crop-Level Supply Response by Agro-Climatic Region in Ethiopia," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 289-311.
    7. Suleiman Abrar & Oliver Morrissey & Tony Rayner, 2004. "Aggregate agricultural supply response in Ethiopia: a farm-level analysis," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 605-620.
    8. Jacoby, Hanan G., 1991. "Productivity of men and women and the sexual division of labor in peasant agriculture of the Peruvian Sierra," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1-2), pages 265-287, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2009. "Unleashing the Potential of Ethiopian Women : Trends and Options for Economic Empowerment," World Bank Other Operational Studies 18862, The World Bank.
    2. Mathias, Wakulira, 2009. "Factors Influencing Hulling Of Coffee Among Farmers In Masaka District, Uganda," Research Theses 117798, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    3. Bachewe, Fantu Nisrane & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2015. "Dynamic supply response of farm households in Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 78, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item


    Supply Response; Gender; Agriculture; Ethiopia.;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2004007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jacob Holmes). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.