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Can Agricultural Cooperatives Reduce Poverty? Heterogeneous Impact of Cooperative Membership on Farmers' Welfare in Rwanda

Ellen Verhofstadt and Miet Maertens

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2015, vol. 37, issue 1, 86-106

Abstract: We analyze the inclusiveness and effectiveness of agricultural cooperatives in Rwanda. We estimate mean income and poverty effects of cooperative membership using propensity score matching techniques. We analyze heterogeneous treatment effects across farmers by analyzing how estimated treatment effects vary over farm and farmer characteristics and over the estimated propensity score. We find that cooperative membership in general increases income and reduces poverty and that these effects are largest for larger farms and in more remote areas. We find evidence of a negative selection because impact is largest for farmers with the lowest propensity to be a cooperative member.

Date: 2015
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Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy is currently edited by Timothy Park, Tomislav Vukina and Ian Sheldon

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