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The Effect of the Comprehensive Rural Village Development Program on Farm Income in South Korea

Eunji Choi (), Jonghoon Park () and Seongwoo Lee ()
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Eunji Choi: Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development & Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
Jonghoon Park: Department of Economics, Hanbat University, Daejeon 34158, Korea
Seongwoo Lee: Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development & Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 17, 1-23

Abstract: Faced with an aging and declining population, many governments around the world endeavor to revitalize their rural communities in a sustainable manner. In South Korea, the Comprehensive Rural Village Development Program (CRVDP) was carried out from 2004 to 2013 as a key strategy to reinvigorate rural areas. This study aims to conduct an ex-post quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of the CRVDP in boosting rural households’ farm income. In doing so, the present study adopts quasi-experimental research design that is seldom utilized in assessing rural policies. As an alternative evaluation tool with flexibility for using readily available data, the study employed the combined application of the Heckman selection model and the Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition method. The study revealed a significant positive impact of the Program on farm income of rural households in the program-supported areas from both cross-sectional and longitudinal perspectives. A robust causal estimation of the impact of this bottom-up, multi-sectoral rural development program on farm income is achieved, which can be leveraged to widely promote similar type of rural development approach.

Keywords: sustainable rural development; policy evaluation; farm income; Heckman selection model; decomposition method (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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