Explaining heterogeneous outcomes of a productive asset transfer
Thompson, William Munro
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Livestock transfer programs, have become an essential component of many NGOs’ strategies for reducing poverty among smallholders and subsistence farmers in less developed countries. Despite their prevalence, however, the effectiveness of this class of productive asset intervention remains relatively unstudied. In this paper, we examine initial outcomes of an NGO-sponsored goat transfer-and-training program in rural Haiti. Before realizing the ultimate program goals of improved health, greater levels of education, better housing and more productive farms, beneficiaries must build sustainable herds of healthy goats. Therefore, we measure a set of outcomes related to herd health and growth and explain their variation across beneficiaries by regressing them on a set of household variables. Specifically, we find compelling evidence that wealthiest beneficiaries build smaller, less valuable herds when compared to the poorer beneficiaries. In addition, we find that access to land significantly reduces kid mortality, a key to sustainable, profitable goat herding.