Title: Determinants of income poverty in rural Kenya: an empirical analysis

Authors: Steve Onyeiwu; Jialu Liu

Addresses: Department of Economics, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA 16335, USA ' Department of Economics, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA 16335, USA

Abstract: Growth and development aid have proved to be insufficient for alleviating rural poverty in Africa. Thus, efforts should be directed toward enhancing the capacities of rural households to efficiently utilise their productive assets, human capital and land in order to alleviate poverty. This paper uses socio-economic survey data and panel regressions to explore the determinants of income and poverty in rural Kenya. Results from the regression reveal that household size has a significantly large and negative effect on income. Land ownership, as well as the value of land, are both important for explaining differences in income amongst rural households in Kenya. Ownership of non-durable assets such as tools and livestock improves households' income generating ability. The results also reveal evidence of the feminisation of poverty in rural Kenya, which implies that women should be a major focus of poverty alleviation efforts in that country. Lastly, based on the surveys for this study, the level of inequality was found to be higher in rural Kenya than other developing countries.

Keywords: Africa; Kenya; inequality; economic growth; land reform; income poverty; rural areas; rural poverty; rural households; poverty alleviation; women; land ownership; tools; livestock.

DOI: 10.1504/AJESD.2013.053054

African Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development, 2013 Vol.2 No.1, pp.53 - 71

Published online: 28 Feb 2014 *

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