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Food Security, Gender and Occupational Choice among Urban Low-Income Households

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  • Maria S. Floro
  • Ranjula Bali Swain

Abstract

Rising urban poverty and food insecurity are serious concerns in developing countries today. Urban livelihoods and coping strategies remain poorly understood however. This paperexamines the response of female and male household members in marginalized urban (predominantly squatter) areas to the risk of food shortage in terms of occupational choice. More specifically, we use probit analyses to investigate whether household vulnerability or the need to provide self-insurance for food security, alongside gender roles, influence a worker's choice of enterprise activity. We focus our investigation on self-employed women and men using a data set drawn from the 1496 individual sample in 14 urban squatter communities in Bolivia, Ecuador, Philippines and Thailand. Our findings show that selfemployed women in households facing higher risk of food insecurity are likely to engage in food-related enterprise activities and this is especially true in Philippines and Thailand. This suggests the role of occupational choice in in helping urban squatter households in mitigating the risk of food shortage through the selection of an income-generating activity that allows the direct use of unsold inventories for food consumption.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by American University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2010-20.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:amu:wpaper:2010-20

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Web page: http://www.american.edu/cas/economics/

Related research

Keywords: food security; self-employment; occupational choice; urban informal secto;

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References

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  1. Greg Hundley, 2000. "Male/female earnings differences in self-employment: The effects of marriage, children, and the household division of labor," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 54(1), pages 95-114, October.
  2. Mark Montgomery & Paul Hewett, 2005. "Urban poverty and health in developing countries: Household and neighborhood Effects," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 397-425, August.
  3. Alfonso Miranda & Sophia Rabe-Hesketh, 2006. "Maximum likelihood estimation of endogenous switching and sample selection models for binary, ordinal, and count variables," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(3), pages 285-308, September.
  4. Mazumdar, Dipak, 1983. "Segmented Labor Markets in LDCs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 254-59, May.
  5. Garrett, James L. & Ruel, Marie T., 1999. "Are determinants of rural and urban food security and nutritional status different?," FCND discussion papers 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Philip Amis & Carole Rakodi, 1994. "Urban poverty: Issues for research and policy," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(5), pages 627-634, 09.
  7. Maxwell, Daniel G., 1996. "Measuring food insecurity: the frequency and severity of "coping strategies"," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 291-303, July.
  8. Funkhouser, Edward, 1996. "The urban informal sector in Central America: Household survey evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(11), pages 1737-1751, November.
  9. Levin, Carol E. & Ruel, Marie T. & Morris, Saul S. & Maxwell, Daniel G. & Armar-Klemesu, Margaret & Ahiadeke, Clement, 1999. "Working Women in an Urban Setting: Traders, Vendors and Food Security in Accra," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1977-1991, November.
  10. Ruel, Marie T. & Haddad, Lawrence & Garrett, James L., 1999. "Some Urban Facts of Life: Implications for Research and Policy," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(11), pages 1917-1938, November.
  11. Rachel Connelly, 1992. "Self-employment and providing child care," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 17-29, February.
  12. Maria Sagrario Floro & John Messier, 2011. "Is there a link between quality of employment and indebtedness? the case of urban low-income households in Ecuador," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(3), pages 499-526.
  13. Levin, Carol E. & Maxwell, Daniel G. & Armar-Klemesu, Margaret & Ruel, Marie T. & Morris, Saul Sutkover & Ahiadeke, Clement., 1999. "Working women in an urban setting," FCND discussion papers 66, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  14. Haddad, Lawrence & Kennedy, Eileen & Sullivan, Joan, 1994. "Choice of indicators for food security and nutrition monitoring," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 329-343, June.
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  1. repec:rom:campco:v:9:y:2013:i:1:p:113-126 is not listed on IDEAS

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