We investigate three transitions in income earning activities in sub-Saharan African countries that are associated with productivity growth and structural transformation: moving out of subsistence farming, from agricultural income to non-agricultural income, and towards income from migrated family members. For this purpose we exploit the LSMS-ISA panel data, the one for Malawi in the first place. For each transition we assess how growth in household income correlates with characteristics and conditions for households that make a transition and households that do not. Next, and based on these correlations, we postulate potential mechanisms underlying these transitions and propose strategies to identify these mechanisms. We find that education has a strong positive correlation with moving out of subsistence farming and shifting from agricultural income to non-agricultural income.
19 Sep 2016
FAO Conference on Rural Transportation, Agricultural and Food System Transition