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Nontraditional crops, traditional constraints: The long-term welfare impacts of export crop adoption among Guatemalan smallholders


  • Data Appendix Available Online
    A data appendix to replicate main results is available in the online version of this article. Please note: Wiley-Blackwell is not responsible for the content or functionality of any supporting information supplied by the authors. Any queries (other than missing material) should be directed to the corresponding author for the article.

  • The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this article are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of the World Bank and its affiliated organizations, or those of the Executive Directors of the World Bank or the governments they represent. The authors would like to thank Peter Lanjouw and the participants of the 111th EAAE-IAAE Seminar: “Small Farms: Decline or Persistence?” (Canterbury, UK) for their insightful comments, and INCAP for granting access to the baseline dataset and providing logistical and technical support during the second wave of data collection.

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This article documents the long-term welfare effects of household nontraditional agricultural export (NTX) adoption. We use a panel dataset that spans the period 1985–2005, and employ difference-in-differences estimation to investigate the long-term impact of nontraditional agricultural export adoption on changes in household consumption status and asset position in the Central Highlands of Guatemala. Given the heterogeneity in adoption patterns, the analysis differentiates the impact estimates based on a classification of households that takes into account the timing and duration of nontraditional agricultural export adoption. The results show that while, on average, welfare levels have improved for all households irrespective of adoption status and duration, the extent of improvement has varied across groups. Long-term adopters exhibit the smallest increase in the lapse of two decades, in spite of some early gains. Conversely, early adopters who withdrew from nontraditional agricultural export production after reaping the benefits of the boom period of the 1980s are found to have fared better and shown greater improvements in durable asset position and housing conditions than any other category.