Hundanol Kebede presents at PACDEV

Friday, March 20, 2020

Hundanol Kebede presented his paper, titled “The gains from market integration: The welfare effects of new rural roads in Ethiopia,” at the Pacific Conference for Development Economics (PacDev), held at UC-Berkeley. In the paper, he estimates the welfare gains from a massive rural road expansion project that doubled the total road length in the country between 2011 and 2015.  He uses tools from international trade theory and detailed household level data to quantify household-level welfare gains from the road expansion and how much of those gains can be attributed to trade mechanisms. He shows that the road expansion increased market integration and village specialization in comparative advantage crops. One of the paper’s novel contributions is that it shows how increased road connectivity would cause household production decisions to be dictated by market prices rather than consumption preferences – commonly known as separability. That is, road connectivity decreases the correlation between household land allocation across different crops and budget allocation across crops. This leads to significant efficiency gains because land will be reallocated to crops that have higher market value.