Rural Livelihood Change? Household Capital, Community Resources and Livelihood Transition

Publication Abstract

Bhandari, Prem B. 2013. "Rural Livelihood Change? Household Capital, Community Resources and Livelihood Transition." Rural Studies 32:126-136.

Using the sustainable livelihoods approach, this study examines the extent to which household human, natural and economic capital, socio-cultural background and physical resources contribute to livelihood change of farm household to non-farm activities in a rural agrarian setting of Nepal. A number of studies examine the influence of various macro-level, particularly economic factors on farm exit in developed countries. However, we know much less about micro-level household and community assets that contribute to decisions on livelihood transition by farm households in developing countries. I use the unique longitudinal panel data between 1996 and 2001 collected from 1180 farm households from a rapidly changing rural agrarian setting of Nepal. The findings reveal that the availability of household labor, particularly children, access to cultivated land, and livestock ownership hinder decision to livelihood transition net of other factors known to influence livelihood change. Moreover, proportion of non-farm households in the community significantly and positively influenced livelihood transition of farm households. These findings provide important insights on livelihood transition in a rapidly changing poor rural agrarian context.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jrurstud.2013.05.001

PMCID: PMC3772533