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Gender differences in Agricultural Productivity in Cote d’Ivoire : Changes in Determinants and Distributional Composition over the Past Decade

This paper analyzes changes in agricultural productivity gender gaps in Côte d’Ivoire between 2008 and 2016 using decomposition methods. The analysis finds that the unconditional gender gap between male- and female-headed households has decreased by 14 percent over the past decade. The conditional gender gap has decreased by 32 percent and becomes statistically insignificant once accounting for whether households farm export crops. This transition is driven by improvements across crop types, but it is particularly remarkable for export crop productivity, likely due to increased adoption of fertilizer and pesticide by female-headed households. Despite these substantial improvements, female-headed households in the bottom half of the distribution remain disadvantaged. Moreover, over the past decade, female-headed households did not transition into commercial agriculture and have witnessed greater reductions in land area compared with their male counterparts. The results show that helping these female-headed households access agricultural labor, strengthen their land rights, and adopt export crops are the three most promising policy options to reach gender parity in agriculture in Côte d’Ivoire.