UMB School of Economics and Business
PhD defense: Alex Tatwangire:
Ragnar A. Øygard
Friday August 19th, 2011 Alex Tatwangire will defend his PhD thesis: "Access to Productive Assets and Impact on Household Welfare in Rural Uganda" and give a trial lecture over the topic: "Model Selection and Statistical and Economic Significance in Applied Economic and Policy Analysis"
Photo: Reidun Aasheim
The trial lecture and defense is open to all. It will be held Friday August 19th in the auditorium in Landbruksmuseet
0900: Trial lecture: "Model Selection and Statistical and Economic Significance in Applied Economic and Policy Analysis"
Approx. 1000: Alex Tatwangire will present and defend his thesis: "Access to Productive Assets and Impact on Household Welfare in Rural Uganda"More on the defense
A summary of the thesis:
This PhD dissertation provides new and more solid empirical evidence on the impact of access to productive assets on the welfare of rural farm households in Uganda, after controlling for the endogeneity bias of each asset and welfare effects of the unobserved heterogeneity. Different econometric methods are employed to identify key causal effects of interest and to provide statistical inferences that are robust to the effects of endogeneity bias of each asset and welfare effects of the unobserved heterogeneity.The main objectives are to:
(i) provide robust empirical evidence on the impact of land access through market and non-market avenues on household welfare that is also measured in form of expenditure per adult-equivalent; (ii) assess the poverty effects of changes in household human capital endowment and idiosyncratic health shocks to human capital that include anticipated and non-anticipated death incidences and sick-days; (iii) estimate the impact of the number of own and fostered young children (below 10 years) on household welfare in rural Uganda; (iv) assess the poverty effects of variation in access to livestock holdings and productive farm equipments, and also to further evaluate the level of the dispersion and the distribution of livestock holdings and farm equipments across households of different levels of expenditure per adult-equivalent; and (v) provide a synthesis of the relative poverty reduction impacts of household access to key productive assets (land operated, adult human capital, livestock endowment, and physical farm equipments) using a translog production function. The major findings:
- Land, whether accessed through the market or non-market ways (inheritance) plays an important role in enhancing household welfare. Better land access through the market has a stronger welfare-improving effect than better land access through inheritance. This is likely to be the case because land markets to a larger extent transfer land to more efficient producers.
- Households with more stock of human capital (educated and skillful adult members) are shown to gain higher welfare improving effect after we have controlled for endogeneity of human capital. Households appear to be effective in smoothing the devastating effects of idiosyncratic health shocks (unexpected death incidence and prevalence of sicknesses) to human capital.
- The number of children appears to decrease with an increase in the level of education and health of adult members of the household. Young children in rural Uganda engage in productive activities to a limited extent, contrary to popular views about short-term economic benefits of “child labor on farms”. This can be attributed to improvement in access to education and investment in adult human capital.
- Significant welfare increasing effects of access to additional livestock holdings and productive farm equipments were found. The study indicates high levels of inequality and strong positive correlation between each asset endowment and household expenditure. Poor households have limited access to livestock and farm equipments that are vital for income generation.
- An increase of each of four assets (land operated, adult human capital, livestock endowment, and physical farm equipments) was found to generate strong and significant poverty reduction effects. Only weak indications of significant asset interactions and deviations from log-linear asset-welfare relationships were found. Human capital and livestock, and livestock and farm equipment appeared to be potential substitutes in the household production process. The relative marginal poverty reduction impacts were significantly higher for human capital than for farm equipments, livestock, and operated land.
The accumulation of each of the four assets can be good instruments for poverty reduction in rural Uganda. It is therefore important to: (i) enforce the recent 1998 land law “to further protect land ownership & rights of the citizens”, and to improve land governance and the functioning of customary regulations on land; (ii) lend further support to the on-going public (universal) education and access to alternative training programs by reducing the cost of schooling, increasing the level of enrollment and the quality of training in all levels of schooling; (iii) adopt policy interventions that can further promote quality child education, further reduce child labor and every extreme form of child exploitation, (iv) adopt policy measures that reduce uncertainty and risk related to the remunerative use and access to productive assets. Such interventions may include: the provision of affordable veterinary and extension services, improved transport and marketing infrastructure, a supportive economic environment (improved access to market information, affordable health services, and credit services) to encourage local trade, and good infrastructure that reduce the transaction cost of access and investment in productive assets.
Updated: 14.08.11Printerfriendly version
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