Not your average job. Measuring farm labor in Tanzania

Vellore Arthi, Kathleen Beegle, Joachim De Weerdt and Amparo Palacios-Lopez
Analysis and policy brief 21

The extent of bias in smallholder farm labor data is examined by conducting a randomized survey experiment amongst farming households in rural Tanzania. Benchmark agricultural labor estimates obtained from weekly surveys are compared to those from a traditional single end-of-season recall survey. Traditional recall-style modules overestimate hours worked per person per plot by a factor of 3.4. This recall bias is driven by the mental burdens of reporting on highly variable agricultural work patterns. All things equal, studies suffering from this bias would understate agricultural labor productivity.

Download the publication here

The ICC Burexit: Free at last? Burundi on its way out of the Rome Statute

Stef Vandeginste
Analysis and Policy Brief 20

On 12 October 2016, parliament endorsed the Burundian government’s decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court (ICC).1 The withdrawal is not final until a written notification is addressed to the UN Secretary-General, and, in accordance with article 127 of the Rome Statute, it shall take effect one year later. It is likely that Burundi will soon make history as the first state ever to withdraw from the Rome Statute.

This Brief is an attempt at understanding what might explain and motivate this withdrawal. After a short look at the historical context of Burundi’s ratification and withdrawal, attention is paid to the costs and benefits of what, presumably, is a rational decision and not – as has been suggested by some observers – a panic-driven reaction.

Download the publication here

Urbanization and Poverty Reduction: The Role of Secondary towns in Tanzania

Luc Christiaensen, Joachim De Weerdt and Ravi Kanbur
Analysis and Policy Brief 18

In 2007, the world reached an important “tipping point”—half its population became urban. But not only is the world urbanizing, it has been doing so much more rapidly. While it took Industrial Europe 110 years (1800-1910) to increase its rate of urbanization from 15 to 40 percent, Asia and Africa did so in only 50 years (1960-2010), or twice as fast. And the urban population in the developing world is also concentrating, living increasingly in few large cities. This also holds in Africa, which already has a clear bimodal distribution of its urban population (Dorosh and Thurlow, 2013). Nonetheless, barring some exceptions, the academic literature and policy mind-sets have been
squarely focused on the aggregate rate of urbanization. They seldom go beyond the dichotomous rural-urban distinction, thereby ignoring the istribution of the urban population across cities of different sizes. Results from our research suggest, however, that the composition of urbanization might be as important as its aggregate rate.

Download the publication here