22 Dec 2014 - PhD Defence Bethelhem Legesse Debela (HH)

Norwegian title:
Hvordan oppnå trygge rurale levekår: Husholdsstrategier og offentlige tiltak

Prescribed subject of the trial lecture:
“The use of primary and secondary data in economic development research - the good, the bad, and the ugly”

Time and place for the trial lecture and the public defence:
Monday December 22. 2014 at 12.15
Tower Building TU 101

Professor Stein T. Holden, Main supervisor
Professor Gerald E. Shively, Co-supervisor

Evaluation committee:
Førsteamanuensis Eirik Romstad, NMBU Handelshøyskolen 
Professor Awudu Abdulai, Department of Food Economics and Consumption Studies 
Førsteamanuensis Gunnar Köhlin, Department of Economics, Göteborg University

The doctoral thesis is available for public review at the NMBU library.
Thesis number 2014:93, ISSN 1894-6402, ISBN 978-82-575-1251-4

Attaining Secure Rural Livelihoods: The Role of Household Strategies and Public Interventions

Findings and Contributions of PhD Dissertation
This dissertation studies the role of household strategies and public interventions in enabling households to attain secure rural livelihoods. It uses survey data from Northern Ethiopia and Western Uganda. The thesis composes of four papers. Papers in this dissertation contribute to the existing literature in terms of data use, area of focus and method of analysis.  The topics covered are interesting because they add to the understanding of rural poverty in developing countries.

Shocks, income diversification and forest use in Uganda
Findings showed that forests serve as safety nets in the face of shocks and households diversify their income sources in response to shocks. Losses due to non-labor shocks precipitate forest extraction and higher rates of income diversification while shocks affecting labor in the households does not. This shows that labor is the resource that is easily relocated in response to shocks. Unlike previous studies, this study broadens range of shocks considered in examining household responses.

Welfare implications of the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) in Ethiopia
We find that the PSNP have a positive effect on livestock accumulation and children’s education, after controlling for selection bias. Participating in the program protect households from sacrificing their children’s education in response to shocks. Results also indicate that the program provides short-term nutritional benefit for children under five years, especially in those households that are able to leverage underemployed female labor. This thesis contributes to the literature in this area by examining effects of Ethiopia’s PSNP after the end of the first phase of the program. Further, it uses a methodology that control for potential bias (Article 2) and applies WHO’s newly developed child growth standard in analyzing the program effect on child health.

Female headship and livestock accumulation in Ethiopia
Female-headed households own significantly lower livestock than male-headed households in Northern Ethiopia, Tigray region. Lower endowment of land area, male labor and children (age 6-14) in female-headed households are the observed factors causing the difference. This paper contributes to the literature by identifying factors causing differences in livestock ownership between female-and male-headed households.

Published 31. oktober 2016 - 17:49 - Updated 23. mai 2017 - 19:25