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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R32R3P408

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Household Structure, Climate Change, and Livelihoods in southern Africa Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Gender
Africa
Climate change
Contingent behavior
Female-headed households
adoption
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Dassanayake, Wijaya Kumar
Supervisor and department
Luckert, Martin (Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Mohapatra, Sandeep (Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Examining committee member and department
Swallow, Brent (Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
Department
Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
Specialization
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Date accepted
2013-12-20T09:47:23Z
Graduation date
2014-06
Degree
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Doctoral
Abstract
This thesis investigates three areas under the theme of household structure, climate change and livelihoods in southern Africa. The use of female-headship to identify vulnerable subgroups and to direct poverty-alleviation policies is a contentious issue in the literature. In the first paper of this thesis, we demonstrate the importance of heterogeneity in household structures for establishing clear links between female-headship and household income. Using data from Zimbabwe and South Africa we find that female-headed households, as a whole, do not have lower incomes than male-headed households. Income differentials across female-headed households are significantly related to the amount of male presence and its complementarity with children living in the households. After accounting for these sources of observed heterogeneity, we find significant unexplained heterogeneity across female-headed households. Current empirical approaches that investigate the adoption of innovations in response to future climate change suffer several limitations due to their reliance on cross sectional data. In the second paper of this thesis, we overcome these limitations by using the contingent behavior method. Using a unique set of data collected in rural Eastern Cape in 2011, we examine how households would adopt different livelihood activities (i.e. gardening, livestock, natural resource harvesting, casual labor, small business and formal employment) in response to future climate change. Our results show that households increase the adoption of natural resource harvesting, casual labor, and small business in response to increases in dry-spells, and gardening and livestock in response to increases in wet-spells. In southern Africa, potential differences between men and women with respect to access to productive resources, division of labor and preferences in allocating household resources are likely to create gender differences in adoption of innovations. In the third paper of this thesis, we investigate the differences in the adoption of innovations in response to future climate change between men and women who live in different household headships. This study also uses the contingent behavior method and the data from rural Eastern Cape collected in 2011. We find that men and women who live in different household headship types are likely to adopt different innovations in response to future climate change.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R32R3P408
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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