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  • Author: Carlo Koos
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Studies have found that politically deprived groups are more likely to rebel. However, does rebellion increase the likelihood of achieving political rights? This article proposes that rebellion helps ethnic groups to overcome deprivation. I illustrate this by using a "typical" case (the Ijaw's struggle against the Nigerian government) to demonstrate how ethnic rebellion increases the costs for the government to a point where granting political rights becomes preferable to war. Further, I exploit time-series-cross-sectional data on deprived ethnic groups to show that rebellion is significantly associated with overcoming deprivation. The statistical analysis shows that democratic change is an alternative mechanism.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Political Violence, Ethnic Conflict, Poverty, Armed Struggle
  • Political Geography: Africa, Dhaka
  • Author: Lena Giesbert
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants of households' decisions to purchase micro life insurance, the most common but least investigated type of microinsurance. It uses household survey data collected in southern Ghana in 2009. Insurance participation and extent of coverage are examined against a standard benchmark model, which argues that life insurance uptake increases with risk aversion, the probability of risk, initial wealth, and the “intensity for bequests.” Many of these predictions indeed hold in the case of micro life insurance. However, the results of probit and tobit models show that nonstandard factors also explain the participation decision. Unlike the case with other available types of insurance, there is a significant negative association between households' subjective idiosyncratic risk perception and the uptake of micro life insurance. Additionally, households' micro life insurance participation is strongly related to their relationships with formal financial services providers and their membership in social networks. These findings suggest that poorer households view microinsurance as a risky option.
  • Topic: Health, Poverty, Health Care Policy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Lena Giesbert, Susan Steiner
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This article investigates the understandings and perceptions of (micro)insurance among low income people in southern Ghana, using evidence from four focus group discussions. It analyzes how the focus group participants think about various types of insurance – among them a micro life insurance product – and how their negative and/or positive evaluations have come about. The evidence indicates that (micro)insurance is mostly positively perceived by the participants of the focus group discussions. However, it is also found that many people's image of insurance is based on incomplete (and sometimes erroneous) information, or even on intuition. In addition, the experiences or opinions of peers turn out to be critical in shaping an individual's perception of insurance. These two factors potentially have a contagious effect, which can lead to unreasonably positive or overly negative ideas about (micro )insurance. Such ideas, in turn, can become detrimental to the further distribution of microinsurance.
  • Topic: Health, Political Economy, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ghana
  • Author: Lena Giesbert, Kati Schindler
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Using a micro-level approach to poverty traps, this paper explores welfare dynamics among households in post-war rural Mozambique. Conceptually, the paper builds on an asset-based approach to poverty and tests empirically, with household panel data, for the existence of a poverty trap. Findings indicate that there is little differentiation in productive asset endowments over time and that rural households gravitate towards a single equilibrium, which is at a surprisingly low level. The analysis shows that shocks and household coping behavior help to explain the observed poverty dynamics. The single low-level equilibrium points to an overall development trap in the rural farm-based economy. This is attributed to the long-term impact of the civil war, which has consolidated unfavorable economic conditions in rural areas and limited new economic opportunities outside of the agricultural sector.
  • Topic: Economics, Markets, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lena Giesbert, Susan Steiner, Mirko Bendig
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the study of the demand for financial services in developing countries leaves out part of the story, if it looks at only one of the three elements of the so called finance trinity, i.e. savings products, loans, or insurances, as is largely done in the literature. In contrast to previous research, it is assumed that households' choice for any of these services is strongly interconnected. Therefore, the paper simultaneously estimates the determinants of household demand for savings, loans and insurances by applying a multivariate probit model on household survey data from rural Ghana. On the one hand, the estimation results confirm the common finding that poorer households are less likely to participate in the formal financial sector than better off households. On the other hand, there is empirical evidence that the usage of savings products, loans and insurances does not only depend on the socio-economic status of households, but also on various other factors, such as households' risk assessment and the past exposure to shocks. In addition, trust in the providing institution and its products appear to play a key role.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Third World
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jann Lay, George Michuki M'Mukaria,  Toman Omar Mahmoud
  • Publication Date: 04-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: Engagement in non-agricultural activities in rural areas can be classified into survival-led or opportunity-led. Survival-led diversification would decrease inequality by increasing the incomes of poorer households and thus reduce poverty. By contrast, opportunity-led diversification would increase inequality and have a minor effect on poverty, as it tends to be confined to non-poor households. Using data from Western Kenya, we confirm the existence of the differently motivated diversification strategies. Yet, the poverty and inequality implications differ somewhat from our expectations. Our findings indicate that in addition to asset constraints, rural households also face limited or relatively risky high-return opportunities outside agriculture.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • Author: Susan Steiner
  • Publication Date: 11-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: German Institute of Global and Area Studies
  • Abstract: It is often claimed that decentralisation is effective for the reduction of poverty due to inherent opportunities for higher popular participation and increased efficiency in public service delivery. This paper is a qualitative assessment of the potential of the Ugandan decentralisation reform for poverty alleviation. The Ugandan government initiated an ambitious decentralisation reform in 1992, which represents an example of full-fledged devolution with the transfer of far-reaching responsibilities to local governments. However, several shortcomings, such as low levels of accountability, insufficient human and financial resources, corruption, patronage, and central resistance to decentralisation, constrain the proper implementation of the reform, putting improvements in participation and efficiency at risk and ultimately jeopardising the intended impact on poverty.
  • Topic: Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa