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Income Diversification Patterns in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa : Reassessing the Evidence

AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AGRICULTURAL GROWTH AGRICULTURAL LAND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AGRICULTURAL SECTOR AGRICULTURAL SELF-EMPLOYMENT AGRICULTURAL WAGE AGRICULTURAL WAGE EMPLOYMENT AGRICULTURAL WAGE LABOR AGRICULTURAL WAGES AGRICULTURE BARRIERS TO ENTRY BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS CASH CROPS CASH TRANSFER PROGRAMS COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE CONSUMERS CONSUMPTION SMOOTHING CREDIT MARKETS CROP INCOME CROP PRODUCTION DEVELOPING REGIONS DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS DEVELOPMENT POLICIES DEVELOPMENT POLICY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY DIVERSIFIED INCOME PORTFOLIO DIVISION OF LABOUR ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY EMPLOYMENT DYNAMICS EMPLOYMENT INCOME EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FACTOR MARKETS FARM ACTIVITIES FARM ACTIVITY FARM EMPLOYMENT FARM GROWTH FARM INCOME FARM INCOMES FARM SELF-EMPLOYMENT FARMING ACTIVITIES FOOD POLICY FOOD PRICES FOOD PRODUCTION FOOD SECURITY GDP GDP PER CAPITA HOUSEHOLD BUDGET HOUSEHOLD HEAD HOUSEHOLD HEAD AGE HOUSEHOLD INCOME HOUSEHOLD INCOME DIVERSIFICATION HOUSEHOLD PARTICIPATION HOUSEHOLD SIZE HOUSEHOLD SURVEY HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS HUMAN CAPITAL INCOME INCOME DISTRIBUTION INCOME GENERATION INCOME INEQUALITY INCOME LEVELS INCOME SHARES INCOME-GENERATING ACTIVITIES INDUSTRIALIZATION INEQUALITY INSUFFICIENT INCOME INSURANCE INSURANCE MARKETS LABOUR LABOUR FORCE LIQUIDITY LIVELIHOOD STRATEGIES LIVESTOCK ACTIVITIES LIVESTOCK INCOME LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION LIVING STANDARDS MARKET ECONOMIES MARKET FAILURES NONFARM INCOME NUTRITION OCCUPATIONS OUTPUTS POOR POOR HOUSEHOLDS POORER HOUSEHOLDS POVERTY IMPACT POVERTY REDUCTION PRIVATE TRANSFERS PRODUCTIVE ASSETS PRODUCTIVITY REGRESSION ANALYSIS RESIDUAL INCOME RURAL RURAL AREAS RURAL COMMUNITIES RURAL DEVELOPMENT RURAL ECONOMY RURAL HOUSEHOLD RURAL HOUSEHOLD INCOME RURAL HOUSEHOLDS RURAL INCOME RURAL INCOMES RURAL LIVELIHOODS RURAL POOR RURAL POVERTY RURAL POVERTY ALLEVIATION SAVINGS SOCIAL PROGRAMS SOCIAL PROTECTION SPATIAL ANALYSIS SPATIAL DISPERSION STRUCTURAL TRANSFORMATION SUBSISTENCE VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT WEALTH
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World Bank Group, Washington, DC
Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa | Malawi | Niger | Tanzania | Uganda
2014-12-04T00:13:15Z | 2014-12-04T00:13:15Z | 2014-11

Is Africa's rural economy transforming as its economies grow? This paper uses comparable income aggregates from 41 national household surveys from 22 countries to explore the extent of income diversification among rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa, and to look at how income diversification in Sub-Saharan Africa compares with other regions, taking into account differences in levels of development. The paper also seeks to understand how geography drives income diversification, focusing on the role of agricultural potential and distance to urban areas. The countries in the African sample have higher shares of on-farm income (63 versus 33 percent) and lower shares on nonagricultural wage income (8 and 21 percent) compared with countries of other regions. Specialization in on-farm activities continues to be the norm in rural Africa (52 percent of households, 21 percent in other regions). In terms of welfare, specialization in nonagricultural income-generating activities stochastically dominates farm-based strategies in all of the countries in our African sample. Crop income is still important for welfare, however, and even at higher levels of household income, crop activities continue to play an important complementary role. Regardless of distance and integration in the urban context, when agro-climatic conditions are favorable, farming remains the occupation of choice for most households in the African countries for which the study has geographically explicit information. When urban integration is low and agricultural conditions more difficult, the picture is mixed, with households more likely to engage more fully in nonfarm activities in Niger and Malawi, but less likely to do so in Uganda and Tanzania.

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