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Household capacities, vulnerabilities and food insecurity: Shifts in food insecurity in urban and rural Ethiopia during the 2008 food crisis

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Author Info

  • Hadley, Craig
  • Linzer, Drew A.
  • Belachew, Tefera
  • Mariam, Abebe Gebre
  • Tessema, Fasil
  • Lindstrom, David
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    Abstract

    The global food crisis of 2008 led to renewed interest in global food insecurity and how macro-level food prices impact household and individual level wellbeing. There is debate over the extent to which food price increases in 2008 eroded food security, the extent to which this effect was distributed across rural and urban locales, and the extent to which rural farmers might have benefited. Ethiopia’s food prices increased particularly dramatically between 2005 and 2008 and here we ask whether there was a concomitant increase in household food insecurity, whether this decline was distributed equally across rural, urban, and semi-urban locales, and to what extent pre-crisis household capacities and vulnerabilities impacted 2008 household food insecurity levels. Data are drawn from a random sample of 2610 households in Southwest Ethiopia surveyed 2005/6 and again in mid to late 2008. Results show broad deterioration of household food insecurity relative to baseline but declines were most pronounced in the rural areas. Wealthier households and those that were relatively more food secure in 2005/6 tended to be more food secure in 2008, net of other factors, and these effects were most pronounced in urban areas. External shocks, such as a job loss or loss of crops, experienced by households were also associated with worse food insecurity in 2008 but few other household variables were associated with 2008 food insecurity. Our results also showed that rural farmers tended to produce small amounts for sale on markets, and thus were not able to enjoy the potential benefits that come from greater crop prices. We conclude that poverty, and not urban/rural difference, is the important variable for understanding the risk of food insecurity during a food crisis and that many rural farmers are too poor to take advantage of rapid rises in food prices.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 10 ()
    Pages: 1534-1542

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:10:p:1534-1542

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    Related research

    Keywords: Ethiopia; Food security; Hunger; Poverty; Coping strategies; Shocks; Africa; Rural; Urban; semi-urban; Vulnerability;

    References

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    1. Hadley, Craig & Lindstrom, David & Tessema, Fasil & Belachew, Tefara, 2008. "Gender bias in the food insecurity experience of Ethiopian adolescents," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 427-438, January.
    2. Hartini, T. Ninuk S. & Padmawati, R. Siwi & Lindholm, Lars & Surjono, Achmad & Winkvist, Anna, 2005. "The importance of eating rice: changing food habits among pregnant Indonesian women during the economic crisis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 199-210, July.
    3. Martin, Katie S & Rogers, Beatrice L & Cook, John T & Joseph, Hugh M, 2004. "Social capital is associated with decreased risk of hunger," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 58(12), pages 2645-2654, June.
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    6. Hampshire, Katherine Rebecca & Panter-Brick, Catherine & Kilpatrick, Kate & Casiday, Rachel E., 2009. "Saving lives, preserving livelihoods: Understanding risk, decision-making and child health in a food crisis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(4), pages 758-765, February.
    7. Ivanic, Maros & Martin, Will, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4594, The World Bank.
    8. Rosamond L. Naylor & Walter P. Falcon, 2010. "Food Security in an Era of Economic Volatility," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(4), pages 693-723, December.
    9. Minot, Nicholas, 2010. "Transmission of World Food Price Changes to African Markets and its Effect on Household Welfare," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 58563, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    10. Thomas, D., 1989. "Intra-Household Resource Allocation: An Inferential Approach," Papers 586, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    11. Maros Ivanic & Will Martin, 2008. "Implications of higher global food prices for poverty in low-income countries-super-1," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 405-416, November.
    12. Heflin, Colleen M. & Siefert, Kristine & Williams, David R., 2005. "Food insufficiency and women's mental health: Findings from a 3-year panel of welfare recipients," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(9), pages 1971-1982, November.
    13. Ulimwengu, John M. & Workneh, Sindu & Paulos, Zelekawork, 2009. "Impact of soaring food price in Ethiopia: Does location matter?," IFPRI discussion papers 846, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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    Cited by:
    1. Hadley, Craig & Stevenson, Edward Geoffrey Jedediah & Tadesse, Yemesrach & Belachew, Tefera, 2012. "Rapidly rising food prices and the experience of food insecurity in urban Ethiopia: Impacts on health and well-being," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2412-2419.

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