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When the data source writes the conclusion: evaluating agricultural policies

Sam Desiere, Lotte Staelens and Marijke D'Haese UGent (2016) JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES. 52(9). p.1372-1387
abstract
Statistics describe realities, but they also shape them, since they are used to design or support policies. As such accurate statistics are important. Using the agricultural sector in Rwanda as a case study, we demonstrate that dubious statistics can spread quickly. According to data from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), yields have increased by 60 per cent since the implementation of large scale agricultural reforms, while other datasets point towards more modest gains. Yet, estimates in line with those of the FAO dominate the official discourse. We suggest that the discrepancies between datasets may be explained by the difficulties of collecting accurate agricultural statistics combined with an incentive to overestimate yields to show that the reforms have worked.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
RURAL RWANDA, AFRICA, POLITICAL-ECONOMY, STATISTICAL TRAGEDY, GROWTH, LAND, POVERTY, PRODUCTIVITY, PERSPECTIVE, NIGERIA
journal title
JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
J. Dev. Stud.
volume
52
issue
9
pages
1372 - 1387
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000377810500009
JCR category
ECONOMICS
JCR impact factor
1.134 (2016)
JCR rank
138/347 (2016)
JCR quartile
2 (2016)
ISSN
0022-0388
DOI
10.1080/00220388.2016.1146703
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
8029796
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8029796
date created
2016-07-07 14:29:17
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:39:24
@article{8029796,
  abstract     = {Statistics describe realities, but they also shape them, since they are used to design or support policies. As such accurate statistics are important. Using the agricultural sector in Rwanda as a case study, we demonstrate that dubious statistics can spread quickly. According to data from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), yields have increased by 60 per cent since the implementation of large scale agricultural reforms, while other datasets point towards more modest gains. Yet, estimates in line with those of the FAO dominate the official discourse. We suggest that the discrepancies between datasets may be explained by the difficulties of collecting accurate agricultural statistics combined with an incentive to overestimate yields to show that the reforms have worked.},
  author       = {Desiere, Sam and Staelens, Lotte and D'Haese, Marijke},
  issn         = {0022-0388},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES},
  keyword      = {RURAL RWANDA,AFRICA,POLITICAL-ECONOMY,STATISTICAL TRAGEDY,GROWTH,LAND,POVERTY,PRODUCTIVITY,PERSPECTIVE,NIGERIA},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {9},
  pages        = {1372--1387},
  title        = {When the data source writes the conclusion: evaluating agricultural policies},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2016.1146703},
  volume       = {52},
  year         = {2016},
}

Chicago
Desiere, Sam, Lotte Staelens, and Marijke D’Haese. 2016. “When the Data Source Writes the Conclusion: Evaluating Agricultural Policies.” Journal of Development Studies 52 (9): 1372–1387.
APA
Desiere, S., Staelens, L., & D’Haese, M. (2016). When the data source writes the conclusion: evaluating agricultural policies. JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, 52(9), 1372–1387.
Vancouver
1.
Desiere S, Staelens L, D’Haese M. When the data source writes the conclusion: evaluating agricultural policies. JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES. 2016;52(9):1372–87.
MLA
Desiere, Sam, Lotte Staelens, and Marijke D’Haese. “When the Data Source Writes the Conclusion: Evaluating Agricultural Policies.” JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT STUDIES 52.9 (2016): 1372–1387. Print.