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The Nexus between Gender, Collective Action for Public Goods, and Agriculture : Evidence from Malawi

ACCOUNTING ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES AGRICULTURE ASSET OWNERSHIP ASYMMETRIC INFORMATION BANK POLICY BROAD PARTICIPATION CHECKS CITIES CITIZENS CIVIC ENGAGEMENT CIVIC PARTICIPATION COLLECTION ACTION COLLECTIVE ACTION COMMUNITIES COMMUNITY DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY EDUCATION COMMUNITY FORESTRY COMMUNITY GROUPS COMMUNITY LEADERS COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP COMMUNITY LEVEL COMMUNITY LIFE COMMUNITY MEMBERS COMMUNITY NETWORKS COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS COMMUNITY POLICING COMMUNITY QUESTIONNAIRES COMMUNITY-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT CONSUMPTION EXPENDITURES CONTRIBUTIONS COST FUNCTIONS CREDIT COOPERATIVE CREDIT COOPERATIVES DECENTRALIZATION DECISION MAKING DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DEVELOPMENT ECONOMICS DEVELOPMENT POLICY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS DISTRICTS DURABLE ECONOMETRIC MODELS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE ECONOMIES OF SCALE EMPOWERMENT EXTERNAL FUNDING EXTERNALITIES FACILITATORS FEMALE FIXED COSTS FOCUS GROUP FOCUS GROUPS FORESTS GENDER GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS HOUSEHOLD INCOME HOUSEHOLDS HOUSING HOUSING CENSUS INCREASING RETURNS INCREASING RETURNS TO SCALE INFORMAL SETTLEMENTS INFORMATION DISSEMINATION INHERITANCE INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK INSTRUMENT INSURANCE INTERNATIONAL BANK INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT INTERVENTIONS INVESTING LAND OWNERSHIP LAND TENURE LEGAL FRAMEWORK LIVING STANDARDS LOCAL CAPACITY LOCAL COMMUNITIES LOCAL DEVELOPMENT LOCAL GOVERNANCE LOCAL GOVERNMENT LOCAL INSTITUTIONS LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS MARGINAL BENEFITS MARGINAL COSTS MARGINAL VALUE MARGINALIZED GROUPS MATURITY MICRO-FINANCE MICRO-FINANCE INSTITUTION NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT NATURAL RESOURCES NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT NGO OPPORTUNITY COST OPPORTUNITY COSTS OPTIMIZATION PARTICIPATORY DEVELOPMENT PLANTATIONS POLICY DISCUSSIONS POSITIVE COEFFICIENT POSITIVE COEFFICIENTS POSITIVE EFFECTS PRODUCTIVITY PROJECT EVALUATION PUBLIC GOOD RURAL AREAS RURAL COMMUNITIES RURAL DEVELOPMENT RURAL ECONOMY SAFETY SAFETY NET SAFETY NETS SELF-HELP SOCIAL ACTION SOCIAL CAPITAL SOCIAL ORGANIZATION SOCIAL WELFARE TAX TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TRANSACTION TRANSACTION COSTS TRANSACTIONS COSTS TRANSPARENCY VALUATION VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT VILLAGES WAGES WEALTH YOUTH
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Malawi
2014-03-18T19:17:22Z | 2014-03-18T19:17:22Z | 2014-03

Across the developing world, public goods exert significant impacts on the local rural economy in general and agricultural productivity and welfare outcomes in particular. Economic and social-cultural heterogeneity have, however, long been documented as detrimental to collective capacity to provide public goods. In particular, women are often under-represented in local leadership and decision-making processes, as are young adults and minority ethnic groups. While democratic principles dictate that broad civic engagement by women and other groups could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local governance and increase public goods provision, the empirical evidence on these hypotheses is scant. This paper develops a theoretical model highlighting the complexity of constructing a "fair" schedule of individual contributions, given heterogeneity in costs and benefits that accrue to people depending, for instance, on their gender, age, ethnicity, and education. The model demonstrates that representative leadership and broad participation in community organizations can mitigate the negative impacts of heterogeneity on collective capacity to provide public goods. Nationally-representative household survey data from Malawi, combined with geospatial and administrative information, are used to test this hypothesis and estimate the relationship between collective capacity for public goods provision and community median estimates of maize yields and household consumption expenditures per capita. The analysis shows that similarities between the leadership and the general population, in terms of gender and age, and active participation by women and young adults in community groups alleviate the negative effects of heterogeneity and increase collective capacity, which in turn improves agricultural productivity and welfare.

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