14.00-14.40: Richard Bluhm, “The Pace of Poverty Reduction: A Fractional Response Approach”
Discussant: Prof. Dr. Pierre Mohnen
14.45-15.25: Julieta Marotta, “Legal Empowerment: A Theoretical Framework”
Discussant: Andrea Franco
15.30-16.15: Paula Nagler, “Non-Farm Entrepreneurship in Rural Africa: Patterns and Determinants”
Discussant: Richard Bluhm
1) "The Pace of Poverty Reduction: A Fractional Response Approach," Richard Bluhm
Abstract: The pace of poverty reduction through growth vs. redistribution is at the heart of current debates on equitable development. In this paper, we argue that empirical poverty decompositions should build in the inherent boundedness of the poverty headcount ratio directly. As a solution, we propose a fractional response approach to estimating poverty decompositions, and present extensions dealing with unobserved heterogeneity, measurement error and unbalancedness. Using a large new data set, we estimate income and inequality (semi)elasticities of poverty for the 2$ a day and 1.25$ a day poverty lines. The models _t the data remarkably well over the entire data range. We highlight the relevance of focusing on semi-elasticities for policy purposes and, building on the improved accuracy of the fractional response results, we present poverty projections from 2010 through 2030. Finally, we discuss some implications of these results for the post-2015 development agenda.
2) "Legal Empowerment: A Theoretical Framework," Julieta Marotta
Abstract: The presentation aims to share the theoretical framework used in my thesis to understand legal empowerment. The framework departs from a proposal made by USAID in 2007. Accordingly, empowerment relates to the relevance of improving human capabilities, their freedoms, and their abilities to improve opportunities. Capability sees individual freedoms as a social commitment and not as self-responsibility. The theoretical framework recognizes four stages of legal empowerment: right enhancement, right awareness, right enablement, and right enforcement. Those stages have a cyclical relation because legally-empowered persons will tend to increase the democratic participation.
3) "Non-Farm Entrepreneurship in Rural Africa: Patterns and Determinants," Paula Nagler
Abstract: We are the first to provide a comparative empirical analysis of non-farm entrepreneurship in rural Africa, using the World Bank’s unique LSMS-ISA dataset. This dataset covers six countries over the period 2005 to 2012. We find that rural enterprises tend to be small, informal household enterprises that provide predominantly goods and services to the local economy, and operate intermittently due to seasonality in farming. We furthermore establish that the likelihood of operating an off-farm enterprise depends on individual capabilities, household characteristics and institutional factors. While the results of some variables show consistency across the sample, we also find much heterogeneity, suggesting that rural entrepreneurship is also a response to country-level circumstances and policies. Although more than 50 years have passed since rural development was identified as a priority for African countries, rural entrepreneurship continues to fulfill mainly a risk-diversifying role. This may suggest that policies to foster effective rural-urban migration and wage employment in rural areas, have largely failed in Africa.
Venue: Conference room, Keizer Karelplein 19, Maastricht
Date: 27 May 2014
Time: 14:00 - 16:15