Explaining gender differentials in agricultural production in Nigeria


This paper uses data from the General Household Survey Panel 2010/11 to analyze differences in agricultural productivity across male and female plot managers in Nigeria. The analysis utilizes the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method, which allows for decomposing the unconditional gender gap into (i) the portion caused by observable differences in the factors of production (endowment effect) and (ii) the unexplained portion caused by differences in returns to the same observed factors of production (structural effect). The analysis is conducted separately for the North and South regions, excluding the west of the country. The findings show that in the North, women produce 28 percent less than men after controlling for observed factors of production, while there are no significant gender differences in the South. In the decomposition results, the structural effect in the North is larger than the endowment at the mean. Although women in the North have access to less productive resources than men, the results indicate that even if given the same level of inputs, significant differences still emerge. However for the South, the decomposition results show that the endowment effect is more important than the structural effect. Access to resources explains most of the gender gap in the South and if women are given the same level of inputs as men, the gap will be minimal. The difference in the results for the North and South suggests that policy should vary by region.


Oseni, G.; Corral, P.; Goldstein, M.; Winters, P. Explaining gender differentials in agricultural production in Nigeria. World Bank, Washington DC, USA (2014) 59 pp. [Policy Research working paper No. WPS6809]

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