Participation and returns in rural nonfarm activities: evidence from the Kyrgyz Republic


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This article uses two representative household budget surveys from the Kyrgyz Republic to analyze factors influencing participation and returns from different types of nonfarm activities in 2005 and 2006. We use the double hurdle and Heckman models, which allow us to demonstrate that a number of variables has different effects on participation and income from nonfarm activities. For example, residing in remote areas and lack of capital are found to stimulate participation in nonfarm activities, but decrease nonfarm income. Results are robust, but using the Heckman model seems to produce more accurate results for returns to education and gender under the presence of selection bias. Overall, nonfarm activities are found to be most important for the poor, who are pushed out of agriculture due to limited and poor land resources. This indicates that equipping poor households to enable them to move towards better remunerative nonfarm activities should be a priority for Kyrgyz rural policy makers.