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Four essays in agricultural and development economics

Vollenweider, Xavier (2016) Four essays in agricultural and development economics. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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In the first paper, I introduce a new framework to estimate household climate risk exposure based on a combination of climate and microeconomic data. I apply it to the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (1994-2009) and find that households living at low altitudes are the most vulnerable to weather shocks. The second paper is based on a combination of open and double-blind randomized controlled trials (RCT) conducted in Tanzania in 2013 with 560 farmers. By comparing the results between the participants in the open and double-blind groups, we find that more than 50% of the total effect of improved seeds estimated in traditional open RCTs depends on farmers’ behaviour. The third paper, based on the RCT mentioned above (only the open one is used), tests the hypothesis that farmers try to escape forced solidarity when facing favourable conditions. We find that farmers having received the improved seeds decrease their number of social interactions. We interpret this as a sign that farmers seek to hide from the pressure to redistribute. In the fourth paper, I leave Africa for the Republic of Ireland and show that a large Irish agri-environmental scheme does not increase farmers’ risk exposure.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2016 Xavier Vollenweider
Library of Congress subject classification: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Gibbons, Stephen and Di Falco, Salvatore and O’Donogue, Cathal

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