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Research to manage the Environment for Development

Recent publications


Household fuel choice in urban China: evidence from panel data

Using eight rounds of household survey data that span two decades, this paper analyzes the determinants of household fuel choice in urban China. Using the correlated random effects generalized ordered probit model, the authors find that household fuel choice in urban China is related to fuel prices, households’ economic status and size and household head’s gender and education.


Credit, Insurance and Farmers’ Liability: Evidence from a Lab in the Field Experiment with Coffee Farmers in Costa Rica

To cope with losses from extreme hydro-meteorological events, governments typically implement disaster relief programs and offer debt relief to affected parties. Governments in developing countries have made extensive use of total and partial debt coverage as a way to encourage investment in key sectors and in agriculture in particular. In the context of climate change, such practices are not viable because risk is systemic and losses can easily surpass most governments’ debt relief budgets.


The Tilling of Land in a Changing Climate: Panel Data Evidence from the Nile Basin of Ethiopia

Empirical studies point to reduced tillage as a means to increase yields and reverse land degradation. A relatively neglected avenue of research concerns why farmers increase tillage frequencies. Using household plot–level panel data from the Nile Basin of Ethiopia, this article applies a random effects ordered probit endogenous switching regression model to empirically investigate the impact of weather events and other conditioning factors on farmers’ choice of tillage intensity and the effect of changing tillage frequencies on differences in farm returns.


The Land Certification Program and Off-Farm Employment in Ethiopia

Strong property rights have long been touted as key to increased performance of the rural economy in developing countries. Indeed, in an overwhelmingly agrarian economy like Ethiopia, with state ownership of land, increased land tenure security of individual farmers is expected to play a significant role in factor allocation within and beyond the agricultural sector. This paper analyses the impact of a land certification program on farmers’ off-farm participation, based on household-level panel data collected in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia.


Governing agricultural drought: Monitoring using the vegetation condition index

This paper investigates the spatial and temporal aspect of seasonal agricultural drought in Ethiopia during the cropping season using Vegetation Condition Index. SPOT-VGT S10 NDVI time-series for the period 1998 to 2013 was employed. Five hundred and sixty-seven dekadal images were administered in order to produce the multi-temporal agricultural drought maps. Accordingly, the analysis showed different causes for the nation-wide drought events occurred in the years 1998, 2000, 2002, 2009, and 2010.


Estimating the impact of a food security program by propensity-score matching

Reducing poverty and improving household food security remains an important policy objective for rural development in the semi-arid areas of many countries in Africa. Many development programs have been introduced in efforts to bring the cycle of poverty and food insecurity to an end. This paper investigates the impact of a food security package (FSP) program in improving rural household’s food consumption in Tigray region, Northern Ethiopia.


The Effect of Enclosures in Rehabilitating Degraded Vegetation: A Case of Enderta District, Northern Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the African countries facing problems of environmental degradation. In particular, the problem is severe in the Tigray region of Northern Ethiopia highlands where, environmental degradation is threatening many parts of the region. Efforts to contain this problem and facilitate natural rehabilitation have been made at several levels. The establishment of area enclosures, and soil and water conservation works are two of the main strategies promoted to contain land degradation and restore the natural vegetation.


Assessing the evidence of climate variability in the northern part of Ethiopia

In semi-arid highlands of northern Ethiopia, episodes of droughts of varying severity and duration occur. The occurrence of these droughts is associated mainly with the seasonal rainfall variability. This study attempts to investigate the temporal and spatial variability of climate parameters, particularly rainfall and temperature for the period 1954-2008. Standardized rainfall anomaly was used to examine the temporal characteristics of climate variability and determine the prevalence of droughts.


Coping with Food Insecurity on a Micro-Scale: Evidence from Ethiopian Rural Households

This article examines the main household demographics and economic factors associated with food insecurity and coping behavior of rural households employed during times of food shortages in northern Ethiopia. Using a cost-of-basic-needs approach we estimated the food poverty line. This cut-off value was used to classify households as either food secure or insecure.


Climate change vulnerability in Ethiopia: disaggregation of Tigray Region

Climate change and variability severely affect rural livelihoods and agricultural productivity, yet they are causes of stress vulnerable rural households have to cope with. This paper investigated farming communities’ vulnerability to climate change and climate variability across 34 agricultural-based districts in Tigray, northern Ethiopia. It considered 24 biophysical and socio-economic indicators to reflect the three components of climate change vulnerability: exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity.