Discussion Paper

Rural Livelihoods, Poverty, and the Millennium Development Goals

Jun 15, 2008 | Randy Bluffstone, Mahmud Yesuf, Bilisuma Bushie, Demessie Damite

This was created in partnership with Environment for Development .


This paper provides an in-depth look at some of the key development issues facing households in Ethiopia, in the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Using household survey datafrom 2000, 2002, and 2005, we found that Ethiopia is making progress toward some vital MDG goals, but household incomes are shockingly low and hugely varied. Assets could potentially help smoothconsumption when incomes vary, but because land is owned by the government, it cannot serve as a true, functioning asset. The current property rights structure excessively limits households’ options.