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Abstract

This paper contributes to the understanding of the dynamics of developing country rural labour markets by re-evaluating the available evidence on the levels and composition of income sources adopted by rural households in order to understand the relationship between the various economic activities taking place in rural areas and their implications for economic growth and poverty reduction. This is achieved in two parts: First, the paper introduces the Rural Income Generating Activities (RIGA) database, a newly constructed FAO repository of household survey data, income measures and cross-country comparable indicators. Second, using the RIGA database, the paper undertakes a descriptive analysis of the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors of the rural economy, assessing the importance of rural non-farm activities within the complex income strategies adopted by rural households in developing countries and their relationship to poverty and inequality.

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