Economics PhD Scholarship in “Closing the Gender Gap in African Agriculture: The Role of Soft Skills”
A fully funded PhD in Economics Grattan Scholarship is available in the Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
It is a well-established fact that the yield on land cultivated by women in Sub-Saharan Africa is lower than that on land cultivated by men. On average, women are less likely to use new technologies or inputs, but the reasons behind this are unclear. In this project, we will investigate one potential explanation behind the gender gap in agricultural productivity: that women may lack the necessary skills required to access new technologies and inputs that in turn enable productive investments. We will cooperate with an NGO (BRAC) in Uganda. We will evaluate a new program that provides training in soft skills to female farmers. We will also study the effect of disseminating information about composting technology that enables farmers to improve the productivity of their land while improving environmental sustainability. We will investigate whether female farmers are less likely to use composting (as found in previous literature for other technological innovations) and whether the gap between the sexes is smaller for women who have received the soft skills training. The experiment will shed light on the extent to which the lack of soft skills limit the use of new agricultural technologies among women (relative to men) and whether the NGO’s program can help reduce any gender differences. The project's findings will help design policies that empower female farmers and increase their productivity.
The ideal candidate will not only be chosen for their scholarly achievement, but also for their commitment to teaching and ambition to understand and improve society through their research and education policy issues.
The successful candidate will conduct a research assistantship under the supervision of Professor Selim Gulesci.
Closing date 1st April 2022. Students can apply and find detailed information here.