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Household Livelihood Diversification and Gender: Panel Evidence from Rural Kenya

Alobo Loison, Sarah LU (2019) In Journal of Rural Studies
Abstract
There are high hopes that livelihood diversification could contribute to goals of poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study uses household panel data collected in 2008 and 2013, combined with a mixed methodology to examine the regional and gender disparities, as well as the determinants of change in livelihood diversification in the regions of Nyeri and Kakamega in rural Kenya. The study period was characterised by important structural changes in the composition and sources of household cash incomes. More specifically, farm incomes declined significantly, pushing female headed households into absolute poverty. Whereas nonfarm income share in total household cash incomes increased significantly, especially in Kakamega. The... (More)
There are high hopes that livelihood diversification could contribute to goals of poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study uses household panel data collected in 2008 and 2013, combined with a mixed methodology to examine the regional and gender disparities, as well as the determinants of change in livelihood diversification in the regions of Nyeri and Kakamega in rural Kenya. The study period was characterised by important structural changes in the composition and sources of household cash incomes. More specifically, farm incomes declined significantly, pushing female headed households into absolute poverty. Whereas nonfarm income share in total household cash incomes increased significantly, especially in Kakamega. The econometric results show that whether or not household fixed effects are included, there is a positive and significant relationship between changes in household asset wealth and changes in livelihood diversification, implying that diversification is mainly an accumulation strategy for wealthier farm households. Increase in livelihood diversification was also determined by the initial level of diversification, household demographic characteristics such as age, gender (being female), education level and hiring labour. In contrast, increased access to agricultural input credit and more secure land rights seemed to promote specialisation in farming rather than diversification. Finally, food security indicators had a positive and significant effect on change in livelihood diversification. The results have implications for development policy in rural Kenya – highlighting the need to harness the positive aspects of livelihood diversification for poverty reduction, while reducing the negative effects on poorer households by reducing asset entry barriers into remunerative activities. (Less)
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author
organization
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type
Contribution to journal
publication status
epub
subject
keywords
livelihood diversification , rural Kenya, panel data, gender
in
Journal of Rural Studies
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85062803723
ISSN
0743-0167
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
ed687112-03c5-4df2-8419-85e5351e3c8a
date added to LUP
2017-06-01 22:05:14
date last changed
2019-04-23 04:07:50
@article{ed687112-03c5-4df2-8419-85e5351e3c8a,
  abstract     = {There are high hopes that livelihood diversification could contribute to goals of poverty reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study uses household panel data collected in 2008 and 2013, combined with a mixed methodology to examine the regional and gender disparities, as well as the determinants of change in livelihood diversification in the regions of Nyeri and Kakamega in rural Kenya. The study period was characterised by important structural changes in the composition and sources of household cash incomes. More specifically, farm incomes declined significantly, pushing female headed households into absolute poverty. Whereas nonfarm income share in total household cash incomes increased significantly, especially in Kakamega. The econometric results show that whether or not household fixed effects are included, there is a positive and significant relationship between changes in household asset wealth and changes in livelihood diversification, implying that diversification is mainly an accumulation strategy for wealthier farm households. Increase in livelihood diversification was also determined by the initial level of diversification, household demographic characteristics such as age, gender (being female), education level and hiring labour. In contrast, increased access to agricultural input credit and more secure land rights seemed to promote specialisation in farming rather than diversification. Finally, food security indicators had a positive and significant effect on change in livelihood diversification. The results have implications for development policy in rural Kenya – highlighting the need to harness the positive aspects of livelihood diversification for poverty reduction, while reducing the negative effects on poorer households by reducing asset entry barriers into remunerative activities.},
  author       = {Alobo Loison, Sarah},
  issn         = {0743-0167},
  keyword      = {livelihood diversification ,rural Kenya,panel data,gender},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Rural Studies},
  title        = {Household Livelihood Diversification and Gender: Panel Evidence from Rural Kenya},
  year         = {2019},
}