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Patterns of Rural Development: A Cross-Country Comparison Using Microeconomic Data








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    Rural Income Generating Activities: A Cross Country Comparison 2007
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    This paper uses a newly constructed cross country database composed of comparable variables and aggregates from household surveys to examine the full range of income generating activities carried out by rural households in order to determine: 1) the relative importance of the gamut of income generating activities in general and across wealth categories; 2), the relative importance of diversification versus specialization at the household level; 3) the relationship between key household assets an d the participation in and income earned from these activities; and 4) the influence of rural income generating activities on poverty and inequality. Analysis of the RIGA cross country dataset paints a clear picture of multiple activities across rural space and diversification across rural households. This is true across countries in all four continents, though less so in the African countries included in the dataset. For most countries the largest share of income stems from off farm activities, and the largest share of households have diversified sources of income. Diversification, not specialization, is the norm, although most countries show significant levels of household specialization in non-agricultural activities as well. Nevertheless, agricultural based sources of income remain critically important for rural livelihoods in all countries, both in terms of the overall share of agriculture in rural incomes as well as the large share of households that still specialize in agricultu ral sources of income.
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    A Cross Country Comparison of Rural Income Generating Activities 2008
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    This paper uses a newly constructed cross country database composed of comparable income aggregates to examine the full range of income generating activities carried out by rural households. Analysis paints a clear picture of multiple activities across rural space in countries on all four continents, though less so in the included African countries. For most countries the largest share of income stems from off farm activities, and the largest share of households have diversified sources of incom e. Diversification, not specialization, is the norm. Nevertheless, agricultural based sources of income remain critically important for rural livelihoods in all countries.
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    The convergence of food diets: Characterizing consumption patterns, food diversity, and the relationship to trade
    Background paper for The State of Agricultural Commodity Markets (SOCO) 2020
    2020
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    Since the 1990s, technological advancements, growing incomes, increased trade, and urbanization have significantly impacted consumption patterns. Worldwide, there is growing evidence of some convergence of diets being facilitated by rapid changes in global food systems including the increasing market share held by supermarkets at all income levels. The formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the emergence and rapid spread of the Internet have also played important roles in facilitating trade and increasing the variety of food available to consumers. Empirical evidence to examine these impacts has mostly been gathered at the household level and, at the global level, the focus has been on the effect of globalization on obesity and health. Using data from the periods 1994–1996 (WTO formation and emergence of the Internet) and 2015–2017 (rapid spread of the Internet), this paper analyses whether global diets are, in fact, converging. In the comparison of these two periods, the author finds that, as trade intensity increases for cereals, sugars, vegetable oils, and meat – which account for more than two-thirds of calories consumed – so does diversity of products consumed from within each group. The relationship between greater trade intensity and caloric consumption diversity is strongest for cereals, meat, and sugars. The author suggests that further research should undertake a disaggregated trade analysis in order to understand whether the increased food diversity is coming from imports of more diverse foods or other factors.

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