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Research projects

TitlePoverty dynamics and sustainable development: A long term panel project in Thailand and Vietnam
Thailand Vietnam Socio Economic Panel (TVSEP)
ObjectivesThe objective of this project is to extend the panel household surveys in Thailand and Vietnam for another 9 years (6 waves of rural household and two waves for migrant surveys) to generate a much deeper understanding of income and poverty dynamics in rural areas of rapidly changing emerging economies. This will be achieved by providing high-quality data and making them accessible to an international community of researchers, and by pursuing aspects of this research agenda as part of this project. By facilitating data access and providing advice the project will promote significant advances in research in development and agricultural economics by high-profile research groups worldwide.
MethodologyContinued panel surveys of village and household level, in addition: migrant tracking surveys;
National Research Data Collection Centers will be set up in the two countries, in Thailand and Vietnam;
A central database of the project will be created.
ContactHermann Waibel in collaboration with Ulrike Grote, (Leibniz Universität Hannover) and Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)
PartnerDepartment of Economics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen,
Ubon Ratchathani University (URU), Thailand,
Center for Rural Development in Central Vietnam (CRD) at Hué University, Vietnam.
Period2016-2018 (Phase I)
Funding/SponsorDFG - Project No 626864
Budget900 000 € (Phase I)
KeywordsPoverty dynamics, Sustainable development, Vulnerability, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam
TitleLong-term effects of risk and time preferences on households’ welfare in emerging market economies

Economic theory suggests that risk aversion and time discounting should decline in wealth. As a conclusion, poorer households, especially in developing countries, are considered to be more risk averse and more impatient than wealthier households, which in turn lead the poorer to take management decisions that could perpetuate their lives in poverty. However, our understanding of the complex and dynamic interactions between risk and time preferences, risk management and poverty, especially in different dimensions of well-being, is still quite limited, because of data limitations and highly compartmentalized research methods.

This research project applies a holistic approach, where the dynamic interrelations between risk and time preferences, risk management and the multiple dimensions of poverty will be disentangled in order to derive longer-term prospects for sustainable development of rural households in transition economies.

The emerging market economy of Thailand, which has seen a considerable decline in poverty but remains strongly vulnerable to adverse risks, is a suitable stage to effectively investigate the dynamic interactions between preferences, risk management and poverty.

The research project investigates these interactions by differentiating between two levels of risk management strategies, i.e. (i) risk management at the individual level such as diversifying income sources, and (ii) risk management at the group level such as sharing risks with other households in social networks. Drivers and impacts of risk management strategies at both levels are the objects of investigation. The investigation of drivers of risk management decisions will go beyond standard economic theory and incorporate alternative theories such as prospect theory and quasi-hyperbolic discounting. Among the impacts of risk management strategies, both monetary indicators and non-monetary indicators of well-being will be taken into account.

MethodologyThe empirical foundations for the research are built upon the existing long-term panel data set of approximately 2000 households from rural Thailand over 5 waves from 2007 to 2013 collected within the scope of the DFG-FOR 756 project. In the proposed research the existing data base will be complemented by economic field experiments to elicit risk and time preferences and by collecting information on households’ social networks. With the extended long-term panel database our understanding of the dynamic interlinkages between risk and time preferences, risk management and multidimensional poverty can be significantly improved.
ContactSabine Liebenehm
PartnerDIW Berlin; Kasetsart University, Bangkok
Funding/SponsorDFG – Project No 2930/1-1
Budget300 000 €
KeywordsRisk and time preferences, Risk management, Poverty, Thailand
TitleIndividual risk attitudes in rural Thailand and Vietnam
ObjectivesThis project aims for generating a better understanding of the role of individual risk attitude in explaining economic behaviour of poor households as a pre-requisite for empirical research to build up a considerable database serving the specific needs of research.
The project has four objectives, namely: (1) to validate various measures of individual risk attitude in the cross-section, (2) to generate understanding about the determinants of risk attitude in the time-series, (3) to analyze the influence of financial literacy, and (4) to analyze the role of risk attitude of agricultural decision makers together with their past experience and their level of knowledge on management decisions in agriculture.
MethodologyA representative household survey in rural areas of Thailand and Vietnam will be conducted.
The resulting database provides comprehensive information about characteristics of these households, including about all kinds of shocks and risks and the respondent individual risk attitudes.
ContactHermann Waibel, Sabine Liebenehm in collaboration with Lukas Menkhoff (DIW)
(including no cost extension)
10/2013 - 02/2018
Funding/SponsorDFG - Proj. WA 1002/10-1
Budget184 000 €
KeywordsPoverty dynamics, Sustainable development, Vulnerability, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Vietnam
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.
Special objectives:
  • To improve capacity and capability of African laboratories and veterinary services to detect trypanocide resistance  and to conduct quality control of trypanocidal drugs;
  • To improve the effectiveness of available trypanocides in livestock;
  • 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
PartnerPrince 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)
Period 2012 - 2017
Funding/SponsorEU Commission
Budget330 000 €
KeywordsImpact assessment, Livestock disease, Sub-Saharan Africa