Social capital, climate change and soil conservation investment: panel data evidence from the Highlands of Ethiopia

Produced as part of the Adaptation to climate change and human development CCCEP research programme theme


The paper analyses the impact of climate change and local social networks on farmers’ soil conservation behaviour in the Central Highlands of Ethiopia.

Farm household level panel data with multiple plots combined with climate data from the adjacent meteorological stations, interpolated at a household level, are employed in the analysis.

The extent to which local social networks contribute to soil conservation investment in the presence of climate change is assessed using multivariate probit and poison estimation methods.

In light of similar previous studies, the major contributions of the paper are:

  1. the use of wide ranging social capital measures, and
  2. the availability of different soil conservation structures in multiple plots within the same household.

The results show that climate change is a significant determinant of soil conservation investment. In addition, the relationship between local social networks and soil conservation is context specific.

Mintewab Bezabih, Abe Damte Beyene, Zenebe Gebreegziabher and Livousew Borga