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Yonsei University

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Year Volume
Author Title
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Volume 5 Number 2 December 2014
If Finance Works, Microfinance Works: Contextual Evaluation and the Irrelevance of Randomized Controlled Trials
Author_ Salim RASHID
Pages 117-144
Abstract_ The choice to highlight microfinance as a primary means of poverty alleviation in the Millennium Development Goals should have brought clarity to the role and functioning of this widely used instrument. Instead, it seems to have generated a fog. It is time to take a fresh look and start from first principles to clear the air. Microfinance is micro finance―it is finance writ small. If finance works, microfinance works. Much of the confusion surrounding microfinance is due to it being treated as a new economic phenomenon. With the Bangladeshi case in mind, this article poses a series of specific questions about the research field. It argues that many interesting and constructive questions have been missing from the agenda. And rather than bringing clarity, the current focus on randomized controlled trials is merely serving to distract.
Keywords_ Microfinance, Microcredit, Grameen Bank, Poverty, Randomized Controlled Trials, RCT, Bangladesh
Volume 5 Number 2 December 2014
Agricultural Employment, Wages and Poverty in Developing Countries
Author_ Katsushi IMAI, Raghav GAIHA & Constanza DI NUCCI
Pages 145-185
Abstract_ Drawing upon panel data estimations, we have analyzed relationships between agricultural productivity, employment, technology, openness of the economy, inequality in land distribution and poverty. First, we have identified a number of important factors affecting agricultural productivity, such as agricultural R&D expenditure, irrigation, fertilizer use, agricultural tractor/machinery use, reduction in inequality of land distribution, and reduction in gender inequality. Second, while agricultural wage rates are negatively associated with agricultural productivity and food price in terms of levels, rising agricultural wage rates are positively correlated with growth in agricultural land and/or labor productivity as well as with growth in food prices, particularly after 2000. Contrary to the International Labor Organization’s 2012 claim of a widened gap between wage and labor productivity, this finding suggests a narrowing gap once the conditional relationship between the two is taken into account. Third, agricultural employment per hectare tends to increase agricultural productivity after taking account of the endogeneity of the former, while growth in agricultural employment per hectare tends to increase growth in non-agricultural employment over time with adjustment for the endogeneity of the former. Fourth, both agricultural growth and non-agricultural growth tend to lead to a reduction in overall inequality. Finally, increases in agricultural productivity (which is treated as endogenous) will reduce poverty significantly through contributing to overall economic growth. Overall, policies to increase agricultural productivity and agricultural employment are likely to increase non-agricultural growth, overall growth and reduce poverty. The presence of institutional frameworks to promote greater equality between men and women is likely to be one of the key factors, consistent with the important role of women in promoting agricultural productivity in developing countries.
Keywords_ Agriculture, Poverty, Employment, Wage
Volume 5 Number 1 June 2014
A Test of Separability of Consumption and Production Decisions of Farm Households in Ethiopia
Author_ Christophe MULLER
Pages 1-18
Abstract_ In this paper, I test and reject the separability of production and consumption decisions of agricultural households in Ethiopia, using data from a rural household survey conducted in 1994 and an estimated labor demand equation. I also elicit socio-demographic and asset variables that are positively linked with agricultural labor demand. These results reflect the limited development of fully organized labor markets in rural Ethiopia. They also imply that price subsidies, taxes and other purely market-driven agricultural policies may have only limited or perverse impacts. They should be complemented by policies directly affecting household decisions, such as food aid, technology transfer, free supply of fertilizers and so on.
Keywords_ Agricultural Household, Separability, Ethiopia
Volume 5 Number 1 June 2014
Growth versus Nutrition Debate in India: An Intra-Country Analysis of the Dichotomy
Author_ Neetu CHOUDHARY
Pages 19-44
Abstract_ This paper inquires into the mainstream debate on the growth–nutrition dichotomy, with its particular relevance for India. The contention is that in the case of India the much hyped dichotomy is intriguing because well-being in general and nutritional well-being in particular continues to be placed in the context of growth performance. The paper argues that this focus on growth is misleading, not only because it fails to analyze the apparently enigmatic incidence of child malnutrition in India, but more so because it constrains a realistic understanding of the issue and therefore distorts policy interventions. By situating the issue in the diverse socio-economic contexts of 28 states in India, this paper attempts to offer insight into the debate by accommodating the role of gender and other socio-behavioral factors into a framework for analyzing child malnutrition. To this end, the paper first conducts a cluster analysis to extend the existence of the growth-nutrition dichotomy to the inter-state level in India and then explains the same through a multidimensional conceptual perspective on (mal-)nutritional dynamics. In the process, the paper underscores that the theoretical foundation for a necessarily positive growth-nutrition linkage is shaky. While economic growth has the potential to better nutrition security, it is not sufficient in itself and does not necessarily stand in all contexts due to inherent characteristics of child nutrition, wherein the role of gender and government action come to play predominating roles as underlying factors.
Keywords_ Nutrition, Gender, Growth, State, Care behavior
Volume 5 Number 1 June 2014
Rising Income Inequality amid Declining Poverty: The Experience of China and India
Author_ Shalendra D. SHARMA
Pages 45-74
Abstract_ The unprecedented decline in poverty rates in China, and to a lesser extent, in India, has been accompanied by a sharp increase in income inequality, including new forms of impoverishment and destitution. What explains this paradoxical outcome where high GDP growth that has helped reduce absolute poverty has also resulted in widening income inequalities? What are the potential socioeconomic and political implications? And, how best to mitigate and reverse this growing socioeconomic polarization and promote more inclusive and balanced economic growth? This paper addresses these interrelated questions.
Keywords_ Income Inequality, Inclusive Growth, Poverty Rates, China and India, Globalization
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Institute for Poverty Alleviation and International Development (IPAID) at Yonsei University

1, Yonseidae-gil, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

강원도 원주시 연세대길1 연세대학교 미래캠퍼스 정의관 316호 빈곤문제국제개발연구원

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