Poverty targeting, resource degradation and heterogeneous endowments - a micro-simulation analysis of a less favored Ethiopean village

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Persistent and widespread poverty in less favored areas (LFAs) is attributed to fragile natural resources and poor markets. Limited assets may keep households outside the reach of poverty policies targeted at LFAs. We explore in a stylized manner the role of heterogeneous household assets for (1) policies aimed at poverty reduction; (2) within-village income inequality; (3) soil erosion. With a farm-household micro-simulation model we analyze for each household in a remote Ethiopian village three sets of policies: technology improvement, infrastructure investment, and off-farm employment through migration or cash for work (CFW) programs. Combating poverty with a single policy, migration reduces the poverty headcount most. Because of self-selection, CFW programs performed best in terms of reaching the poorest of the poor. CFW also reduce within-village income inequality most, while a price band reduction increases income inequality. Only technology improvements imply a trade-off between poverty and soil erosion. Price band and off-farm employment reduce erosion while outperforming technology improvements in terms of poverty reduction. Combining two policies helps poorer households to overcome the limitations of their asset endowments. Combining a cash for work program with a reduction in price bands yields most in terms of poverty reduction and income inequality. This policy complementarity is less important for better endowed households. Reducing the reliance of households on agriculture offers a win-win situation of reducing poverty and maintaining natural resources. Combining policies helps to overcome asset limitations, to target policies to the poorest households and to reduce income inequalities
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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