Working Poor? A Study of Rural Workers' Economic Welfare in Kenya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study employs a mixed methods approach to investigate the poverty reduction potential of large‐scale farm employment in Kenya. A long‐run time series of real agricultural wages is created. The quantitative data are supplemented by life‐story interviews of agricultural workers. The analysis suggests that large‐scale farm employment can serve as a route out of deep poverty. However, to prevent wages from falling below the subsistence level, there is a need for a balanced rural development strategy whereby investments in smallholder agriculture and skills upgrades accompany the expansion of commercial agriculture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-69
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of International Development
Issue number1
Early online date2020 Sept 9
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Economic History

Free keywords

  • wages
  • employment
  • rural Africa
  • large-scale farming
  • poverty


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