Maertens, Miet

By: Gezahegn, Tafesse ; Van Passel, Steven ; Berhanu, Tekeste ; D’Haese, Marijke ; Maertens, Miet
This paper analyzes how structural and institutional heterogeneity among irrigation cooperatives shapes the impact of membership on farmersÕ welfare in northern Ethiopia, using a novel heteroskedasticity-based identification strategy. More specifically, we estimate how cooperative characteristics influence membersÕ income and poverty level. We find that stricter water use regulations have income-enhancing and poverty-reducing effects for farmers. We also find that farmers benefit more from membership in larger, younger, and bottom-up cooperatives initiated through grassroots collective action. Our findings have implications for irrigation development in Ethiopia and call for a better deliberation of organizational heterogeneity in cooperative impact studies.