Stein Terje Holden

Stein Terje Holden
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) · School of Economics and Business (HH)

PhD
Starting new Research and Capacity-Building project in Malawi with focus on Climate-Smart Agriculture

About

267
Publications
78,177
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Introduction
Stein T. Holden is a professor in Development and Resource Economics at the School of Economics and Business (HH), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). He is also a core member of the Centre of Land Tenure Studies (CLTS) at NMBU. Main areas of research include Land Tenure and Land Markets, Behavioural and Experimental Economics, Natural Resource Management, Rural Transformation, Climate Risk and Food Security, Youth Employment. Much of the research is integrated with capacity-building in the South, especially in Ethiopia and Malawi (MSc- and PhD-training).
Additional affiliations
August 2002 - February 2020
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Position
  • Professor (Full)
January 1992 - June 2002
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
January 1988 - December 1991
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Field of study
  • Agricultural, Resource and Development Economics

Publications

Publications (267)
Article
Full-text available
This study examines current land access and livelihood choices of rural youth in Southern Ethiopia. We found that youth in rural south have limited access to agricultural land because of land scarcity and land market restrictions. We hypothesize that this forces the youth to abandon agriculture in search of other livelihoods. Our study shows that o...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews the literature to identify the relationship between tenure security and food security. The literatures on tenure issues and food security issues are not well connected and the scientific evidence on the causal links between tenure security and food security is very limited. The paper explores the conceptual linkages between land...
Article
Full-text available
Climate risk represents an increasing threat to poor and vulnerable farmers in drought-prone areas of Africa. This study assesses the maize adoption responses of food insecure farmers in Malawi, where drought-tolerant (DT) maize was recently introduced. A field experiment, eliciting relative risk aversion, loss aversion and subjective probability w...
Article
Full-text available
Youth unemployment and migration are growing challenges that need more political attention in many countries, particularly countries with rapid population growth and economic transformation. Proactively mobilizing the youth as a resource in the creation of sustainable livelihoods can potentially be a win-win-win solution that Ethiopia is currently...
Article
Full-text available
We study how social preferences and norms of reciprocity are related to generalized (outgroup) and particularized (ingroup) trust among members of youth business groups in northern Ethiopia. The Ethiopian government promotes youth employment among land-poor rural youth by allocating them rehabilitated communal lands for the formation of sustainable...
Article
Full-text available
Crop diversity plays a central role in smallholder farmers’ ability to cope with and adapt to shocks. Shifting crop varieties and diversifying the crop portfolio are common risk reduction strategies. This paper addresses the influence of covariate climate shocks and idiosyncratic socioeconomic shocks on crop variety use and crop species diversifica...
Article
Full-text available
Our time preferences deviate systematically from that of Homo economicus. They seem to be driven by a form of mental zooming, where higher and more distant amounts induce a more holistic perspective in contrast to smaller and near future amounts. We model zooming as variable asset integration and ask whether this can explain the observed variation...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study is based on a survey of 764 students at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Lilongwe, Malawi. It aims to provide evidence on the extent of exposure to the pandemic among university students, their knowledge and beliefs related to the corona virus and the ways they protect themselves against getting infe...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study investigates the covid risk perceptions, information updating behavior related to the pandemic, use of protective measures, especially facemasks, and the demand for vaccines among university students in Malawi. In particular, the study focuses on how religion and belief in prayer as a protective device against covid-19 are affecting perc...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study provides the initial survey data from a sample of 764 students at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR), Lilongwe, Malawi. It aims to provide evidence on the extent of exposure to the pandemic among university students, their knowledge and beliefs related to the corona virus and the ways to protect oneself...
Preprint
Full-text available
Agricultural technology change is required in developing countries to increase the robustness to climate-related variability, feed a growing population, and create opportunities for market-oriented production. This study investigates technological change in the form of adoption of improved wheat, drought-tolerant teff, and cash crops in the semi-ar...
Preprint
Full-text available
The incentivized risky investment game has become a popular tool in lab-in-the-field experiments for its simplicity and ease of comprehension compared to some of the more complex Multiple Choice List approaches that have been more commonly used in laboratory experiments. We use a field experiment to test whether the game can predict real-world inve...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set up by the United Nations include an overarching principle of "leaving no one behind" and aim for, among other goals, equal access to education for children with disabilities. Our study contributes to the knowledge on the school enrolment of disabled children with different disability types, with a focus...
Preprint
Full-text available
We use a field experiment and a within-subject design based on multiple Choice Lists (CLs) that integrate time and risk. Diminishing impatience with extended time horizons is studied by varying time horizons from one week to two years. Time-dated risky prospects are constant within CLs and are always compared with time-dated certain amounts to iden...
Article
Full-text available
The risky investment game of Gneezy and Potters (Q J Econ 112(2):631–645, 1997) has been proposed as a simple tool to measure risk aversion in applied settings, especially attractive in settings where participants may have limited education. However, this game can produce a significant endowment effect (attached to the initial position), so that an...
Preprint
Full-text available
We analyze individual investment behavior among 822 young men and women that are members of 111 formal business groups in northern Ethiopia. We collected baseline data and investment data one year later combined with incentivized field experiments to obtain dis-aggregated risk preference data. We find that businesswomen on average invest significan...
Article
We analyze individual investment behavior among 822 young men and women that are members of 111 formal business groups in northern Ethiopia. We collected baseline data and investment data one year later combined with incentivized field experiments to obtain dis-aggregated risk preference data. We find that businesswomen on average invest significan...
Article
Full-text available
Agricultural technology change is required in developing countries to increase the robustness to climate-related variability, feed a growing population, and create opportunities for market-oriented production. This study investigates technological change in the form of adoption of improved wheat, drought-tolerant teff, and cash crops in the semiari...
Article
Full-text available
Digital information and communication technologies are recognized as vital tools for empowering marginalized groups such as women in low-income developing countries through reducing the costs of communication and connectivity. This study aimed at assessing the gender difference in mobile phone ownership among youth business group members, and how i...
Article
Full-text available
We assess how non-convex transaction costs constrain access to and participation in the land rental market by smallholder farmers within Sub-Saharan Africa. The theory suggests a dynamic externality due to such transaction costs and that orchestrated participation can reduce such costs and enhance future participation. We use dynamic random effects...
Preprint
Full-text available
While economists in the past tended to assume that individual preferences, including risk preferences, are stable over time, a recent literature has developed that indicates that risk preferences respond to shocks. This paper combines survey data and field experiments with three different tools that facilitated elicitation of dis-aggregated measure...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The risky investment game of Gneezy and Potters (1997) has been a popular tool used to estimate risk tolerance and myopic loss aversion. Holden and Tilahun (2021) tested and found that the simple one-shot version of this game that is attractive as a simple tool to elicit risk tolerance among respondents with limited education, produce significant e...
Article
Full-text available
Continued population growth in densely populated parts of Sub-Saharan Africa makes it harder for youth to choose agriculture as main source of income. We investigate whether near landless youth can access rented land as a source of income. We used data collected in 2016 (from 1138 youths in 119 youth business groups) and 2019 (from 2427 youths in 2...
Article
Full-text available
Scholarship on African land markets has proliferated in recent years. We contend that this scholarship consists of distinct literatures that examine non-overlapping parts of the system and diverge in their conclusions. Some studies view rising land markets as providing greater options for smallholder farmers and positive impacts on agricultural pro...
Article
Full-text available
Food-based transfer programs have the potential to change diets or alter basic crop mixes. This study empirically investigates the associations between participating in food-for-work (FFW) programs and the diversity of food consumption and production. Four waves of panel data from the Tigray Region of Northern Ethiopia, covering the period 2001–201...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates the spatial downside and upside rainfall shock effects on tenant household renting behavior and access to rented land in the short‐term and medium‐term. We model the tenant households’ demand decisions within the state‐contingent framework with renting‐in of land as a risky input choice. Our data are a 3‐year balanced househ...
Preprint
Full-text available
We have used simple incentivized social preference experiments for a sample of 2427 resource-poor rural youth that have formed natural-resource based youth business groups in their home communities. The experiments were combined with questions investigating their attitudes towards environmental conservation and willingness to contribute to conserva...
Article
Full-text available
Drought tolerant (DT) maize varieties have received massive support in sub‐Saharan Africa because of their potential to protect smallholder farmers against drought‐related maize yield losses. Using four waves of household farm panel data from six districts in Malawi, we examine the impact heterogeneity of this technology on maize productivity using...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book delivers new conceptual and empirical studies surrounding the design and evaluation of land governance, focusing on land management approaches, land policy issues, advances in pro-poor land tenure and land-based gender concerns. It explores alternative approaches for land management and land tenure through international experiences. Theme...
Preprint
Full-text available
Our time preferences deviate systematically from that of Homo economicus. They seem to be driven by a form of mental zooming, where higher and more distant payouts induce a more holistic perspective in contrast to smaller and near future payouts. We model zooming as variable asset integration and ask whether this can explain the observed variation...
Preprint
Full-text available
This chapter investigates how land tenure reforms in Ethiopia have influenced the position of women in terms of land tenure security, access to land, decision-power over land within households, as well as the gendered impacts of these tenure reforms on land investments, land productivity, land renting, and household consumption welfare. It is based...
Article
Land is an essential asset for the livelihood and welfare of rural households in agriculture-based rural economies. This study utilizes land registry data from the First and Second Stage Land Registration (FSLR and SSLR) Reforms that took place in 1998 and 2016 in Tigray region of Ethiopia, the first region in Ethiopia to implement land registratio...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study investigates whether and to what extent rainfall shocks recurring in Sub-Saharan Africa, that have been associated with distress land rentals, enhance short-term and medium-term access to rented land by tenant households. Tenant households' rental decisions are modeled in the state-contingent framework with renting-in of land as a risky...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter provides an overview of what we know about farm size distributions, the emerging land markets, the role of tenure systems, tenure reforms and land policies in shaping the distribution of increasingly scarce land resources. The primary focus is on Africa while making some comparisons with Asia. Climate risk and change have serious impli...
Article
Full-text available
We assess the spatial and intertemporal variation in farmland prices using per hectare minimum willingness to accept (WTA) sales and rental (shadow) prices in Malawi. We use three rounds of nationally representative farm household panel data from the Living Standards Measurement Surveys (LSMS), collected in 2010, 2013 and 2016. The sample is split...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate the extent of variation in output sharing in land rental contracts and alternative hypotheses to explain this variation. Close to half of the rental contracts in our study in northern Ethiopia have output shares that deviate from the dominant 50-50 equal sharing. Variation in land quality, the relative bargaining power of landlords a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The risky investment game of Gneezy and Potters (1997) has been a popular tool used to estimate risk tolerance and myopic loss aversion. We have assessed whether a simple one-shot version of this game that is attractive as a simple tool to elicit risk tolerance among respondents with limited education, can lead to biased estimates of risk aversion...
Article
Fertilizer and other input subsidies have been prominent components of agricultural policies in many Asian and African countries since the 1960s. Their economic and political rationale is scrutinized with emphasis on the second generation of targeted input subsidy programs that were scaled up in Sub-Saharan Africa after 2005. The extent to which th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We assess the extent of access and degree of participation by smallholder tenants in the land rental market in Malawi. Our study is based on three rounds of nationally representative Living Standards Measurement Surveys collected in 2010, 2013 and 2016, from which we construct a balanced panel. We apply the transaction cost theory, which suggests t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We study how social preferences and norms of reciprocity are related to generalized and particularized trust among members of youth business groups in northern Ethiopia. Members of these groups are recruited among land-poor rural youth. The Ethiopian government promotes youth employment among land-poor rural youth by allocating them rehabilitated c...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This working paper is an output from the research project "Youth Business Groups for Sustainable Development: Lessons from the Ethiopian Model" that is funded by Research Council of Norway under the NORGLOBAL2 research program for the period 2019-2022. This working paper provides updated and extended information on the gender differences among grou...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Continued strong population growth in already densely populated rural areas in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa makes it harder for youth to choose agriculture as their main source of income. We investigate whether near landless youth still can access rented land as a complementary source of income. We utilize a unique data of rural youth that have been...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This working paper is an output from the research project "Youth Business Groups for Sustainable Development: Lessons from the Ethiopian Model" that is funded by Research Council of Norway under the NORGLOBAL2 research program for the period 2019-2022. This working paper provides a summary of baseline survey data collected in the period January-May...
Preprint
Full-text available
We use a field experiment to estimate the risk preferences of 945 youth and young adult members of 116 rural business groups organized as primary cooperatives in a semi-arid risky environment in northern Ethiopia. Multiple Choice Lists with binary choices between risky prospects and varying safe amounts are used to identify the certainty equivalent...
Preprint
Full-text available
Risk and time preferences are fundamentally important for financial decisions. We study such preferences for business group members based on field experiments in Ethiopia. The relationship between risk preferences and time preferences has been subject to intensive research and debate among behavioral and experimental economists lately. We aim to co...
Preprint
Full-text available
We use a field experiment to estimate the risk preferences of 945 youth and young adult members of 116 rural business groups organized as primary cooperatives in a semi-arid risky environment in northern Ethiopia. Multiple Choice Lists with binary choices between risky prospects and varying safe amounts are used to identify the certainty equivalent...
Preprint
Full-text available
We assess the spatial and intertemporal change patterns of farmland prices using per hectare minimum willingness to accept (WTA) sales and rental prices in Malawi. We use three rounds of nationally representative household farm panel data from the Living Standards Measurement Surveys (LSMS), collected in 2010, 2013 and 2016. We study price changes...
Article
The purpose of this study is to investigate the allocation efficiency in the tenancy market, and thereby the potential of the market to facilitate operational farm size adjustment that can help land‐poor tenant households to transform into smallholder commercial farms. We analyzed three rounds of balanced panel data for the production seasons 2005/...
Article
The scarcity of land for crop and livestock production is critical in countries with growing populations. The idea that increasing population density leads to natural resource depletion and economic failure, as predicted by Malthus, or rather to farm intensification, as hypothesized by Boserup, motivates this research. This paper examines how high...
Article
Full-text available
Exchange asymmetries in individual decision-making have attracted substantial attention from economists since Thaler (1980) referred to the phenomenon that losses are weighted more heavily than gains as an ''endowment effect" and related it to loss aversion and prospect theory. We used a field experiment to investigate exchange asymmetries in produ...
Article
There is growing interest in understanding the links between land reforms, land markets, and poverty reduction in Africa. The study uses four‐wave panel data from the northern highlands of Ethiopia to assess the dynamics of rural poverty taking into account the status of participation of rural households in the land rental market. Applying both non...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated soil fertility management (ISFM) technologies hold potential to protect against climate risks, reduce nutrient depletion and enhance food security. In this paper, we study how exposure to dry spells influences use and use intensity of ISFM technologies, specifically focusing on maize-legume intercropping and organic manure. We use a four...
Article
Full-text available
Fertilizer and other input subsidies have been a prominent component of agricultural policies in many Asian and African countries since the 1960s. Their economic and political rationale is scrutinized with emphasis on the second generation of targeted input subsidy programs that were scaled up in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) after 2005. The extent to w...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report has assessed the agricultural cropping system in central and southern Malawi based on farm plot level data from more than 400 rural households and more than 4000 farm plot observations in six districts covering the years 2006, 2007 and 2009. In particular the study has attempted to identify effects of the Malawian input subsidy programm...
Article
The paper investigates the important role of fertilizer to enhance sustainable intensification and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) based on a multi-disciplinary literature review. The review starts with a macro-perspective taking population growth, economic development and climate change into account. This is complemented with a micro-per...
Article
Full-text available
We examine adoption of drought tolerant (DT) maize varieties using a four-round panel dataset from six districts in Malawi. There is an increase in adoption of DT maize from 3% in 2006 to 43% in 2015 in our data. We focus on the effect of past drought exposure on adoption and the likelihood of DT maize being distributed under the Farm Input Subsidy...
Article
Full-text available
We examine adoption of drought tolerant (DT) maize varieties using a four-round panel dataset from six districts in Malawi. There is an increase in adoption of DT maize from 3% in 2006 to 43% in 2015 in our data. We focus on the effect of past drought exposure on adoption and the likelihood of DT maize being distributed under the Farm Input Subsidy...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Continued high population growth in already densely populated rural areas in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa makes it harder for youth to choose agriculture as their main source of income. We investigate whether near landless youth can still access rented land as a complementary source of income. We utilize a unique data set of rural youth that have be...
Preprint
Full-text available
We assess the gender difference in mobile phone ownership among youth business group members, and how it affects election into leadership and group board positions in recently established rural youth business groups in northern Ethiopia. Based on data on 1125 youths from 119 youth business groups where 32% of the members were female, 37% of the fem...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the potential of conservation agriculture (CA) for increased crop yields, energy savings, soil erosion control, and water-use efficiency, smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa have been slow to adopt. Farmer-to-farmer extension (F2FE) may have a role to play in overcoming the information access problems and lack of knowledge that may pr...
Article
Full-text available
Renting of farm land has increased rapidly in Norway and is involving close to 45 percent of the agricultural area currently in use. This development is a combined result of technological changes, economic transformations, agricultural policies, and legal regulations. Technological and market forces tend to push a development towards fewer, bigger,...