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Title:Impact of coordinated asset transfers and asset ownership on poverty reduction, women's empowerment, and child education: evidence from Zambia and Tanzania
Author(s):Kafle, Kashi Ram
Director of Research:Winter-Nelson, Alex E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Winter-Nelson, Alex E.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Gundersen, Craig; Michelson, Hope C.; Jolliffe, Dean M
Department / Program:Agr & Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural & Applied Econ
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Asset transfers
Poverty reduction
Food security
Child education
Women's empowerment
Intra-household decision-making
Abstract:This dissertation assesses the impact of coordinated asset transfers and asset ownership on poverty and food security, women’s empowerment, and child education in Zambia and Tanzania. In contrast to the traditional view of assets uniformly improving child development outcomes through wealth effects, Chapter 2 assesses whether different types of assets have differential effects on child education. I find that household durables and housing-quality characteristics have the expected positive effects, but agricultural assets have adverse effects on highest grade completed and test scores. I extend the agricultural-household model by explicitly including child labor to portray a theoretical framework for different assets to have differential effects and use three waves of National Panel Survey data from Tanzania to estimate empirical relationships. I correct for the endogeneity of assets and control for time-invariant unobservable by using the Hausman-Taylor instrumental variable (HTIV) method. Further examination reveals that the negative effect of agricultural assets is more pronounced among boys, rural children, poor children, and children from farming households. These conditions may raise the opportunity cost of schooling and result in weaker education outcomes. Building on the finding that different assets have differential effects, the third and fourth chapters assess the impact of an intervention that provides livestock, support services, and associated training to impoverished households in Zambia. In Chapter 3, I confirm previous findings that physical asset transfers increase income and consumption expenditures. Then I examine the practical significance of the increase in expenditures to assess whether it is large enough to trigger changes in consumption patterns or in subjective assessment of wellbeing status. Changes in composition of expenditures, composition of diet, and subjective self-assessment of poverty all suggest that the intervention contributes to a growing sense of economic security and a practically significant change in wellbeing. As transfers included three different types of animals – dairy cows, meat goats, and draft cattle – I am able to discern that the impact does differ by the types of assets transferred. Examination of changes in the composition of consumption shows substantial effects on poverty and food security starting within six months of asset transfers. Persistence of the impact through the next 18 months of the study period indicates that livestock transfers can have a sustained effect on poverty and food security. In Chapter 4, I assess the impact of the same livestock transfer and training intervention on intra-household ‘decision-making’ over different farm household activities and resources. Using a two-period panel dataset, I use decision-making abilities as empowerment measures and find that the intervention significantly improved both women’s and men’s empowerment by expanding the scope of joint decision-making in household activities. In particular, the intervention helped increase the proportion of joint decisions by 17% in all household activities considered and both men’s and women’s independent decisions decreased by as much as 9%. Similar pattern follows when household activities were categorized to ‘treatment related’ and ‘other’ activities; women’s and men’s joint decisions increased at the expense of their independent decision-making participation. I confirm that the finding is consistent with the prediction of the Nash bargaining model because transferring economic resources to women or men leads to Pareto optimality in intra-household resource allocation only through co-operation between men and women.
Issue Date:2017-04-11
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Kashi Ram Kafle
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-08-10
Date Deposited:2017-05

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