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Research projects

TitleInsurance and Private Transfers – Experimental Evidence
ObjectivesMost people in developing countries are currently not insured; they therefore depend on private transfers from relatives and friends when hit by a shock. However, the provision of insurance is steadily increasing. An important question is to what extent the possibility to purchase insurance affects the willingness to help others. Previous research shows contradicting effects: some studies find a decrease in private transfers, others an increase. The underlying drivers remain unclear. Guided by the literature on other-regarding preferences, the proposed project investigates potential mechanisms that may help explain changes in helping behavior.
MethodologyWe analyze these mechanisms in a framed field experiment combined with a household survey on transfer behavior within social networks. We conduct the project in several villages in Cambodia.
ContactSusan Steiner / Friederike Lenel (DIW Berlin)
PartnersSocial Health Protection Association, Cambodia
Budget91 000 €
KeywordsSocial networks, insurance, experiments, Cambodia


TitleStatus of markets for organic and fair trade commodities in agriculture and its impact for developing countries: A meta-analysis
ObjectivesOverall objectives: To assess the extent to which certified alternative agricultural systems like organic agriculture and fair trade management can contribute towards sustainable livelihoods of smallholder farmers in developing countries.
Specific objectives:
1. To examine the drivers that influence the adoption of such alternative farming systems;
2. To investigate the extent to which organic and fair trade certified agriculture impacts production and welfare of smallholder farmers;
3. To compare and do a meta-analysis on how these systems effects smallholder farmers in the continents on Asia, Africa and Latin America and derive the success factors of such farming technologies.
MethodologyEconometric and meta-analysis based on secondary and primary data.
ContactPriyanka Parvathi
Funding/SponsorWege in the Forschung II, Leibniz Universität Hannover
Budget50 000 €
KeywordsOrganic farming, fair trade, developing countries, meta-analysis



TitleImproving the management of trypanosomiasis in smallholder livestock production systems in tsetse-infested sub-Saharan Africa
ObjectivesOverall objectives: To improve the sustainable livelihoods of resource-poor livestock producers in smallholder production systems through improved control of trypanosomiasis.

Specific objectives:
1. To improve capacity and capability of African laboratories and veterinary services to detect trypanocide resistance  and to conduct quality control of trypanocidal drugs;
2. To improve the effectiveness of available trypanocides in livestock;
3. To promote and monitor the use of the technical and structural innovations developed in partnership at a regional and continental scale.
MethodologyIn order to evaluate the project’s impact
1. Household level data collection to establish a panel data set
2. Impact analysis using DD-models
ContactSabine Liebenehm / Alirah E. Weyori
PartnersPrince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp (ITM)
Free University of Berlin (FUB)
Vétérinaires Sans Frontières – Belgium (VSF)
Centre International de Recherche-Developpement sur l’Elevage en Zone Subhumide (CIRDES)
National Animal Health Diagnostic and Investigation Centre (NAHDIC)
University of Pretoria (UP)
Direction de l’Elevage du Togo (VetTogo)
Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (EMU)
EU Commission
330 000 €
Keywords Impact assessment, Livestock disease, Sub-Saharan Africa
Website www.trypanocide.eu

TitleCost-benefit analysis of sustainability standards in small holder oil palm farming in Sumatra, Indonesia
ObjectivesThis research aims to assess the acceptance and economic consequences of standards for sustainable oil palm farming among small holders in the province of Jambi, Sumatra, Indonesia.
This study will draw from an existing panel data set of some 291 small holder oil palm farmers from 2010 and 2012 in two districts of Jambi.
Three hypotheses will be tested:
(1) smallholder oil palm farmers are aware of the environmental standards promoted by the Government in oil palm plantations;
(2) the benefits of sustainable oil palm management practices are uncertain;
(3) woman can play a major role in implementing sustainable oil palm management practices.
Fieldwork to test the first hypotheses has already been conducted during July - August 2012.
For 2013, additional data collection is proposed with the objective to test the second and the third hypotheses. Individual interviews, focus group discussions with village groups and a stakeholder workshop will be conducted to establish the empirical base for developing and applying cost benefit analysis.
MethodologyHousehold level data collection to establish a panel data set
ContactErnah Ernah
Funding/SponsorEconomy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), Institut für Entwicklungs- und Agrarökonomik
Budget14 000 €
KeywordsOil palm, Environment, Smallholder, Indonesia




TitleSustainable rubber cultivation in the Mekong region (SURUMER), sub-project 9: Microeconomic analysis of sustainable Natural Resources Management innovations in rubber cultivation in Yunnan Province, China
ObjectivesThe main objective of this project is to establish a better understanding of the potential to introduce a sustainable rubber plantation system in Yunnan province in Southwestern China. To achieve this objective an ex-ante impact analysis of sustainable Natural Resource Management (NRM) innovations of farmers in this area will be carried out.

Specific objectives:
1. Analyze different adoption decisions by using econometric models to identify key factors that drive smallholder rubber farmer’s decision.
2. Conduct a comprehensive economic analysis of different farming systems (rubber monoculture, intercropping, traditional agriculture), giving account of the cost structures, productivity, cash income generation and poverty levels.
3. Conduct an economic impact assessment by use of a “difference-in-difference model” and “normative household models” based on the concept of typical farms.
4. Investigate the potential economic effects of alternative land use strategies in terms of income generation, income inequality, food security, and poverty and vulnerability reduction.
5. Analyze the barriers and required incentives for small-scale farmers to adopt economically sustainable land use and management concepts.

MethodologyCollect a representative household (or farm) level panel survey of around 600 households;
Conduct empirical analysis by using econometric models and collected data 
ContactShi Min
PartnersCenter for Chinese Agricultural Policy,
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Funding/SponsorBMBF, DLR
Budget310 000 €
KeywordsNatural Rubber, Microeconomic analysis, Mekong region, Xishuangbanna, China



TitleImpact of shocks on the vulnerability to poverty: Consequences for development of emerging Southeast Asian economies

Teilprojekt TP 03
The capacity of agriculture to adjust to economic crisis and environmental shocks in Thailand
1. Investigating the changing role of agriculture before and after economic crisis in Thailand
2. Analyzing the capacity of agriculture to adjust to environmental shocks in Vietnam
3. Comparing and assessing the structural adjustment processes in agriculture in Thailand and Vietnam in view of economic crisis and environmental change
4. Contribute to advancing the vulnerability concepts by incorporating agricultural household decision models
5. Advance the concept of risk measurement
Methodology 1. Household level data collection to establish a panel data set
2. Quantitative analysis using panel data models
ContactMulubrhan R. Amare, Bezawit B. Chichaibelu, Lena Hohfeld, Thi Hoa Vu
PartnersDas Projekt wird gemeinsam mit dem Lehrstuhl 'Umweltökonomik und Welthandel' (Prof. U. Grote) bearbeitet.
Budget250 000 €
KeywordsVulnerability, Shocks, Thailand, Coping strategies, Rural development