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Keywords:

  • I31;
  • O30;
  • Q12;
  • Q50;
  • R20
  • Latent class cluster analysis;
  • Cross-country comparison;
  • Environmental income;
  • Household asset endowments

Abstract

This article uses a quantitative activity choice approach, based on identification of activity variables and application of latent class cluster analysis, to identify five major rural livelihood strategies pursued by households (n= 576) in Bolivia, Nepal, and Mozambique. Income sources and welfare outcomes are compared across strategies and household differences in asset holdings are analyzed using multinomial logit regression. Findings reveal that income diversification is the norm, that a higher degree of specialization does not characterize more remunerative livelihood strategies, that nonfarm income significantly contributes to higher income earnings, that environmental reliance does not vary across strategies, and that small-scale farmers are the largest and poorest livelihood group. Some livelihood strategies are superior to all other strategies in terms of income earned; access to more remunerative livelihood strategies is determined by land ownership, education, and ethnic affiliation. Finally, the article also highlights that additional work is required to determine the most suitable methods for livelihood strategy identification.