The Logic of Peasant Household Behavior and the Design of Rural Development Interventions - In spite of widespread poverty, peasant households have shown considerable resilience. The paradox of persistence in spite of poverty is explained by their ability to devise creative adaptive strategies to low asset positions and to contexts where these assets are used that are characterized by market failures, institutional gaps, and under-provision of public goods. Building on these strategies provides entry points for the design of new approaches to rural development to enhance the competitiveness of peasants and to identify paths out of poverty. Key to the approach is to focus on comprehensive regional development in support of pluriactive rural households who combine insertion in a dynamic agriculture with income generation through non-agricultural rural employment. This approach to rural development from a regional and pluriactive perspective is directly in the tradition of the rural development strategy proposed by Manlio Rossi-Doria for the Mezzogiorno. Through a review of numerous examples, we show that the approach
offers opportunities to make investment in the rural poor into good business.