194 research outputs found

    Mobile phones, leadership and gender in rural business groups

    Get PDF
    Digital information and communication technologies are recognized as vital tools for empowering marginalized groups such as women in low income developing countries through reducing the costs of communication and connectivity. This study aimed at assessing the gender difference in mobile phone ownership among youth business group members, and how it affects election into leadership and group board positions in rural youth business groups in northern Ethiopia. We used instrumental variable methods on survey data on 1125 youths in 119 youth business groups where 32% of the members were female. Our results indicated that 37% of the females and 70% of the males owned mobile phones. Male members were twice as likely to become board members and five times as likely to become group leaders. Mobile phones had become instrumental for male members to become group leaders and board members while this was not the case for female members. Male members without mobile phone were not significantly more likely to become board members or group leaders than female members without and with mobile phones. The gender digital divide is thus a question of both ownership and the use of mobile phones for business and for getting positions that can empower women in business. Further research should investigate whether provision of mobile phones and training of female business members in use of mobile phones for business can lead to female empowerment and thereby eliminate or reduce the observed digital gender discrimination.publishedVersio

    Numeracy Skills, Decision Errors, and Risk Preference Estimation

    Get PDF
    Basic numeracy skills are obviously important for rational decisionmaking when agents are facing choices between risky prospects. Poor and vulnerable people with limited education and numeracy skills live in risky environments and have to make rational decisions in order to survive. How capable are they to understand and respond rationally to economists’ tools for the elicitation of risk preferences? Can we make designs that are simple enough for them to give rational responses that reveal their true preferences? And how much does variation in their limited numeracy skills contribute to decision errors and the estimated sizes of their risk preference parameters? Finally, we ask whether Expected Utility (EU) theory is sufficient or whether Rank Dependent Utility (RDU) does better in the analysis of decision errors and risk preferences in our context. We try to answer these research questions based on a large sample of rural youth business group members from Ethiopia based on two variants of a Certainty Equivalent - Multiple Choice List (CE-MCL) approach with 12 and 10 Choice Lists (CLs) per subject. Numeracy skill scores are constructed based on a math test with 15 contextualized questions. The experiment facilitates the estimation of structural models while separating the effects of numeracy skills on decision errors in a Fechner error specification that is a function of numeracy skills and experimental design characteristics. The structural models estimate alternatively Expected Utility (EU) and Rank Dependent Utility (RDU) models, the latter with two-parameter Prelec probability weighting functions.It allows us to assess whether limited numeracy skills are correlated with EU-type risk tolerance (utility curvature) and RDU-type of probabilistic risk tolerance in the form of probabilistic insensitivity and optimism/pessimism bias. We find that weak numeracy skills are associated with slightly less risk tolerance in EU models, with stronger probabilistic insensitivity in RDU models, and with more random noise (Fechner error) in both types of models. However, even the subjects with the weakest numeracy skills performed quite well in the simple CE-MCL experiments with the binary choice elicitation approach, indicating that it was capable of revealing the risk preferences of such subjects with very low numeracy skills as they produced only marginally more decision errors than subjects with better numeracy skills

    Endowment effects in the risky investment game?

    Get PDF
    The risky investment game of Gneezy and Potters (Q J Econ 112(2):631–645, 1997) has been proposed as a simple tool to measure risk aversion in applied settings, especially attractive in settings where participants may have limited education. However, this game can produce a significant endowment effect (attached to the initial position), so that analysis of the behavior in this game should not be done in the Expected Utility Theory (EUT) framework. The paper illustrates this point, by showing that risk tolerance can be much higher when the initial endowment concerns a risky lottery.publishedVersio

    Can the risky investment game predict real world investments?

    Get PDF
    The incentivized risky investment game has become a popular tool in lab-in-the-field experiments for its simplicity and ease of comprehension compared to some of the more complex Multiple Choice List approaches that have been more commonly used in laboratory experiments. We use a field experiment to test whether the game can predict real-world investments by the same subjects based on the assumption that the game can provide a reliable measure of risk tolerance and that risk tolerance is an important predictor of investment behavior. The results show that the game cannot predict investment behavior in our sample. There are two reasons for this. First, we find substantial measurement error and low correlation when the game is repeated one year later for the same subjects. Measurement error is so large in our sample that the “obviously related instrumental variable” (ORIV) approach of Gillen, Snowberg and Yariv (2019) could not remedy the problem. Second, the game appears to suffer from low asset integration due to narrow bracketing, explaining its limited predictive power and the failure to detect attenuation bias due to measurement error. Subjects’ cognitive memory of the game played one year earlier is strongly positively related to investment intensity in the game and this result is much enhanced when correcting for the endogeneity of cognitive memory

    Gender differences in investments and risk preferences

    Get PDF
    We analyze individual investment behavior among 822 young men and women that are members of 111 formal business groups in northern Ethiopia.We collected baseline data and investment data one year later combined with incentivized field experiments to obtain dis-aggregated risk preference data. We find that business women on average invest significantly less at individual level than business men but Cohen’s d values for the gender difference are moderate in size. Women are found to have higher Constant Relative Risk Aversion coefficients, to be more loss averse, but also to be more optimistic in their expectations than men. Women were also poorer in non-land assets, came from more land-poor parents and had lower incomes. The gender differences in risk attitudes and baseline endowments could explain some of but not all of the gender differences in investments

    Are land-poor youth accessing rented land? Evidence from northern Ethiopia

    Get PDF
    Continued population growth in densely populated parts of Sub-Saharan Africa makes it harder for youth to choose agriculture as main source of income. We investigate whether near landless youth can access rented land as a source of income. We used data collected in 2016 (from 1138 youths in 119 youth business groups) and 2019 (from 2427 youths in 246 business groups), in five districts of Tigray region of Ethiopia. We find that 42% of the youth had access to rented land in 2016 and 47% in 2019. The average area rented land was 0.66 ha in 2016 and 0.74 ha in 2019. Access to rented land, though constrained, accounted close to 70% in 2016 and 61% in 2019 of the average operated land by youth group members. Male youth who own oxen and ploughs are much more likely to rent land whereas female youth group members appeared generally disadvantaged in their access to rented land and other complementary sources of income. Sharecropping dominated as the main from of land rental contract covering 94% of the contracts in 2016 and 90% of the contracts in 2019. Utilizing a trust game to elicit trust and trustworthiness of the youth, we found a positive association between trustworthiness and particularly accessing land from non-relatives. The prohibition of land sales limits the potential of the “agricultural ladder” to facilitate youth climbing out of poverty through purchase of land. Overall, the land rental market has become more important for land access of land-poor youth and is likely to grow in importance to facilitate rural transformation and diversification of rural livelihoods as land scarcity grows and market access improves. Thus, it appears that the land rental market has helped many of these very land-poor youth to establish sustainable land-based livelihoods. While the land rental market does not function perfectly, we recommend not to intervene to change the fundamental characteristics or to impose area restrictions in the market as has been attempted recently in Ethiopia. Such restrictions can easily cause more harm than good.publishedVersio

    Endowment effects in the risky investment game?

    Get PDF
    The risky investment game of Gneezy and Potters (Q J Econ 112(2):631–645, 1997) has been proposed as a simple tool to measure risk aversion in applied settings, especially attractive in settings where participants may have limited education. However, this game can produce a significant endowment effect (attached to the initial position), so that analysis of the behavior in this game should not be done in the Expected Utility Theory (EUT) framework. The paper illustrates this point, by showing that risk tolerance can be much higher when the initial endowment concerns a risky lottery.publishedVersio

    An ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in Wonago Woreda, SNNPR, Ethiopia

    Get PDF
    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Medicinal plants are the integral part of the variety of cultures in Ethiopia and have been used over many centuries. Hence, the aim of this study is to document the medicinal plants in the natural vegetation and home gardens in Wonago Woreda, Gedeo Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPR).</p> <p>Materials and methods</p> <p>Thirty healers were selected to collect data on management of medicinal plants using semi-structured interview, group discussion, and field observation. The distribution of plant species in the study areas was surveyed, and preference ranking, direct matrix ranking, priority ranking of factors and Informant consensus factor (ICF) were calculated.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The informants categorized the vegetation into five community types based on plant density and associated landform: 'Raqqa', 'Hakka cadanaba', 'Mancchha', 'Bullukko', and 'Wodae gido'. 155 plant species were collected from the natural vegetation and 65 plant species from the home gardens ('Gattae Oduma'). Seventy-two plant species were documented as having medicinal value: Sixty-five (71%) from natural vegetation and 27 (29%) from home gardens. Forty-five (62%) were used for humans, 15(21%) for livestock and 13(18%) for treating both human and livestock ailments: 35 (43.2%) were Shrubs, 28(34.5%) herbs, 17 (20.9%) trees and 1(1.2%) climbers. The root (35.8%) was the most commonly used plant part. The category: malaria, fever and headache had the highest 0.82 ICF. Agricultural expansion (24.4%) in the area was found to be the main threat for medicinal plants followed by fire wood collection (18.8%). Peoples' culture and spiritual beliefs somehow helped in the conservation of medicinal plants.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>Traditional healers still depend largely on naturally growing plant species and the important medicinal plants are under threat. The documented medicinal plants can serve as a basis for further studies on the regions medicinal plants knowledge and for future phytochemical and pharmacological studies.</p

    Preferences, trust, and performance in youth business groups

    Get PDF
    We study how social preferences and norms of reciprocity are related to generalized (outgroup) and particularized (ingroup) trust among members of youth business groups in northern Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government promotes youth employment among land-poor rural youth by allocating them rehabilitated communal lands for the formation of sustainable businesses. The typical sustainable production activities that the groups can invest in include apiculture, forestry, horticulture, and livestock production. Our study used incentivized experiments to elicit social preferences, trust, and trustworthiness. We use data from 2427 group members in 246 functioning business groups collected in 2019. Altruistic and egalitarian preferences were associated with stronger norms to reciprocate, higher outgroup and ingroup trustworthiness and trust while spiteful and selfish preferences had opposite effects. The social preferences had both direct and indirect effects (through the norm to reciprocate) on trustworthiness and trust. Ingroup trust was positively correlated with a number of group performance indicators.publishedVersio
    • …
    corecore