Monica Harber Carney, University of California-Santa Barbara

"Impact of Soil Conservation Adoption on Intra-Household Allocations in Zambia"


Anecdotal evidence suggests that household adoption of soil conservation techniques may lead to greater female involvement in agricultural production, but little is known about the causal relationship.  We test this relationship empirically, examining the impact of soil conservation adoption on female agricultural labor contributions within households in Zambia.  Moreover, we explore the short-run effects of increased female agricultural productivity on female empowerment through measurement of changes in gender-specific resource allocations within the household. 

The extension of funding of conservation farming (CF) training sessions in 2007 in specific districts in Zambia provides variation in CF take-up.  We use this variation to implement a difference-in-differences strategy on a number of datasets.  Our results suggest that expansion of funding for CF training sessions increased take-up of CF, increased female labor hours, and shifted household expenditures towards goods associated more strongly with female preferences than male preferences.  These results show the importance of understanding the impact of development programs, specifically promotion of agricultural technologies, on household gender dynamics.

Contact person: Neda Trifkovic