Agricultural Technology and Poverty Reduction: A Micro-Level Analysis of Causal Effects

Centro Studi Luca D'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 179

37 Pages Posted: 21 May 2005

See all articles by Mariapia Mendola

Mariapia Mendola

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

Date Written: November 2003

Abstract

Agricultural technology opens great opportunities of increasing food grain production in land scarce countries. But questions are raised about the potential adverse or favourable impact of new technology on economic conditions of the poor. This study is aimed at contributing to the debate about the relative importance of "direct effects" of agricultural technology adoption in poverty alleviation strategies. It does so through an empirical investigation of the relationship between technological change, of the Green Revolution type, and wellbeing of smallholder farm households in two rural Bangladeshi regions. The paper tackles a methodological issue in assessing the "causal effect" of technological change on farm-households' income through the non-parametric p-score matching approach. It pursues a targeted evaluation of whether adopting a modern seed technology causes resource-poor farmers to improve their income and decrease the propensity to fall below the poverty line. It finds a robust and positive effect of agricultural technology adoption on farm households' wellbeing suggesting that there is a large scope for enhancing the role of agricultural technology in "directly" contributing to poverty alleviation.

Keywords: Farm household behaviour, technology adoption, poverty alleviation, propensity score matching

JEL Classification: 132, O33, Q12

Suggested Citation

Mendola, Mariapia, Agricultural Technology and Poverty Reduction: A Micro-Level Analysis of Causal Effects (November 2003). Centro Studi Luca D'Agliano Development Studies Working Paper No. 179, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=491483 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.491483

Mariapia Mendola (Contact Author)

University of Milan - Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano (LdA) ( email )

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Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

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Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

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