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Rainer Thiele

Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Rainer Thiele is director of the Kiel Africa Initiative and the Poverty Reduction, Equity and Growth Network (PEGNet) at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and adjunct professor at Kiel University. His current research focusses on the allocation and effectiveness of foreign aid an on issues related to rural development in Africa such as food security and the impact of large-scale land investments.
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Research Session: New Insights from Supply Chain Research
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publication
The Nutrient-Income Elasticity in Ultra-Poor Households: Evidence from Kenya

The relationship between nutrient intake and wealth of poor households continues to be an issue of huge policy relevance. In this paper, we contribute to the ongoing debate on the nutrient-income elasticity using a sample of ultra-poor households with orphans and vulnerable children in Kenya. To estimate the nutrient-income elasticity for these households, we employ panel data techniques that enable us to tackle measurement error and simultaneity bias. In addition, we use semi-parametric panel data models to address nonlinearities. For most of the nutrients considered, we find that income elasticities are significantly different from zero but below unity. Caloric intakes turn out to be less income-inelastic than macro- and micro-nutrient intakes.

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publication
Social Capital and Large-Scale Agricultural Investments: An Experimental Investigation

Following the 2007–8 global food crisis, agricultural producers have invested in large tracts of land in developing countries. We investigate how the arrival of large-scale farms changes inter-personal trust and reciprocity, important components of social capital, in traditional villages. We elicit trust and reciprocal behaviour in villages that lie near large-scale farms and compare them with villages at a distance. Our data reveal greater trust in villages close to large-scale farms. Reciprocity is more frequent after farm employment. These results are likely driven by communal coping and reputation building. A natural field measure shows that trust correlates with public good sharing.

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publication
Compounding food and income insecurity in Yemen: Challenges from climate change

This paper provides a model-based assessment of local and global climate change impacts for the case of Yemen, focusing on agricultural production, household incomes and food security. Global climate change is mainly transmitted through rising world food prices. Our simulation results suggest that climate change induced price increases for food will raise agricultural GDP while decreasing real household incomes and food security. Rural non-farm households are hit hardest as they tend to be net food consumers with high food budget shares, but farm households also experience real income losses given that many of them are net buyers of food. The impacts of local climate change are less clear given the ambiguous predictions of global climate models (GCMs) with respect to future rainfall patterns in Yemen. Local climate change impacts manifest itself in long term yield changes, which differ between two alternative climate scenarios considered. Under the MIR scenario, agricultural GDP is somewhat higher than with perfect mitigation and rural incomes rise due to higher yields and lower prices for sorghum and millet. Under the CSI scenario, positive and negative yield changes cancel each other out. As a result, agricultural GDP and household incomes hardly change compared to perfect mitigation.

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