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Household coping in war- and peacetime: cattle sales in Rwanda, 1991-2001

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  • Marijke Verpoorten

Abstract

The economic literature has given due attention to household coping strategies in peacetime. In contrast, little is known about such strategies in wartime. This paper studies the use of cattle as a buffer stock by Rwandan households during 1991-2001, a period characterized by civil war and genocide. It is found that the probability of selling cattle increases upon the occurrence of both peacetime and wartime covariant adverse income shocks. The peacetime cattle sales are largely explained by shifts in the household asset portfolio. In contrast, in 1994, the year of the genocide, almost half of the cattle sales were motivated by the need to buy food. However, we argue that the effectiveness of this coping strategy was severely reduced due to the wartime conditions. First, during the year of ethnic violence, cattle prices plummeted to less than half of their pre-genocide value. Second, we find that households most targeted in the violence did not sell cattle. We discuss several explanations for this latter finding.

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces0727.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0727

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Keywords: Coping Strategies; Buffer Stock Model; Cattle; Violent Conflict; Rwanda;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bove, Vincenzo & Gavrilova, Evelina, 2014. "Income and Livelihoods in the War in Afghanistan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 113-131.
  2. Christophe Muller & Marc Vothknecht, 2013. "Group Violence, Ethnic Diversity and Citizen Participation: Evidence from Indonesia," Working Papers halshs-00796194, HAL.
  3. DELPIERRE Matthieu & VERHEYDEN Bertrand & WEYNANTS Stéphanie, 2011. "On the interaction between risk-taking and risk-sharing under farm household wealth heterogeneity," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2011-35, CEPS/INSTEAD.
  4. Tilman Brück & Patricia Justino & Philip Verwimp & Alexandra Avdeenko, 2010. "Identifying Conflict and Violence in Micro-Level Surveys," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 38, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Carter, Michael R. & Lybbert, Travis J., 2012. "Consumption versus asset smoothing: testing the implications of poverty trap theory in Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 255-264.
  6. Patricia Justino, 2012. "Nutrition, Governance and Violence: A Framework for the Analysis of Resilience and Vulnerability to Food Insecurity in Contexts of Violent Conflict," HiCN Working Papers 132, Households in Conflict Network.
  7. Jin, Ling & Chen, Kevin Z. & Yu, Bingxin & Huang, Zuhui, 2011. "How prudent are rural households in developing transition economies:," IFPRI discussion papers 1127, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. María Alejandra Arias & Ana María Ibáñez & Andrés Zambrano, 2014. "Agricultural Production Amid Conflict: The Effects of Shocks, Uncertainty, and Governance of Non-State Armed Actors," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 011005, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  9. Camelia Minoiu & Olga N. Shemyakina, 2012. "Armed conflict, household victimization, and child health in Côte d'Ivoire," Working Papers 245, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  10. Maystadt, Jean-Francois & Ecker, Olivier & Mabiso, Athur, 2013. "Extreme weather and civil war in Somalia: Does drought fuel conflict through livestock price shocks?," IFPRI discussion papers 1243, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Tilman Brück & Patricia Justino & Philip Verwimp & Andrew Tedesco, 2013. "Measuring Conflict Exposure in Micro-Level Surveys," HiCN Working Papers 153, Households in Conflict Network.
  12. Marc Rockmore, 2012. "Living Within Conflicts: Risk of Violence and Livelihood Portfolios," HiCN Working Papers 121, Households in Conflict Network.

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