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Shocks, sensitivity and resilience: tracking the economic impacts of environmental disaster on assets in Ethiopia and Honduras

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  • Carter, Michael R.
  • Little, Peter D.
  • Mogues, Tewodaj
  • Negatu, Workneh

Abstract

"Droughts, hurricanes and other environmental shocks punctuate the lives of poor and vulnerable populations in many parts of the world. The direct impacts can be horrific, but what are the longer-term effects of such shocks on households and their livelihoods? Under what circumstances, and for what types of households, will shocks push households into poverty traps from which recovery is not possible? In an effort to answer these questions, this paper analyses the asset dynamics of Ethiopian and Honduran households in the wake of severe environmental shocks. While the patterns are different across countries, both reveal worlds in which the poorest households struggle most with shocks, adopting coping strategies which are costly in terms of both short term and long term well-being. There is some evidence that shocks threaten long term poverty traps and that they tend to militate against any tendency of the poor to catch up with wealthier households. Policy implications are discussed in terms of access to markets and the design of government safety net programs." Authors' Abstract

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series DSGD discussion papers with number 32.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:dsgddp:32

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Keywords: Environmental disasters; Economic situation; Impact evaluation; Droughts; Vulnerability; households; Livelihoods; Poverty; coping strategies; Safety nets; Government policy;

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  1. Fafchamps, Marcel & Udry, Christopher & Czukas, Katherine, 1998. "Drought and saving in West Africa: are livestock a buffer stock?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 273-305, April.
  2. Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2003. "Food aid and child nutrition in rural Ethiopia," FCND briefs 158, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Mogues, Tewodaj & Carter, Michael R., 2004. "Social Capital and the Reproduction of Inequality in Socially Polarized Economies," Staff Paper Series 476, University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  4. Peter Little & M. Priscilla Stone & Tewodaj Mogues & A. Peter Castro & Workneh Negatu, 2006. "'Moving in place': Drought and poverty dynamics in South Wollo, Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 200-225.
  5. Stefan Dercon, 1996. "Wealth, risk and activity choices: cattle in Western Tanzania," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1996-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Frederic Zimmerman & MICHAEL R. CARTER, . "Asset Smoothing, Consumption Smoothing and the Reproduction for Inequality under Risk and Subsistence Constraints," Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Staff Papers 402, Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department.
  7. Michael Carter & Christopher Barrett, 2006. "The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 178-199.
  8. Valdes, Alberto & Lopez, Ramon E., 1999. "Fighting Rural Poverty In Latin America: New Evidence And Policy," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21581, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  9. Mogues, Tewodaj, 2006. "Shocks, livestock asset dynamics and social capital in Ethiopia:," DSGD discussion papers 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Tewodaj Mogues & Michael Carter, 2005. "Social capital and the reproduction of economic inequality in polarized societies," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 193-219, December.
  11. John Hoddinott, 2006. "Shocks and their consequences across and within households in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 301-321.
  12. Boucher, Stephen R. & Barham, Bradford L. & Carter, Michael R., 2005. "The Impact of "Market-Friendly" Reforms on Credit and Land Markets in Honduras and Nicaragua," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 107-128, January.
  13. Morris, Saul S. & Neidecker-Gonzales, Oscar & Carletto, Calogero & Munguia, Marcial & Medina, Juan Manuel & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Hurricane Mitch and the Livelihoods of the Rural Poor in Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 49-60, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Murendo, Conrad & Keil, Alwin & Zeller, Manfred, 2010. "Drought impacts and related risk management by smallholder farmers in developing countries: evidence from Awash River Basin, Ethiopia," Research in Development Economics and Policy (Discussion Paper Series) 114750, Universitaet Hohenheim, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics.
  2. Alejandro de la Fuente, 2007. "Climate Shocks and their Impact on Assets," Human Development Occasional Papers (1992-2007) HDOCPA-2007-23, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  3. Jacques Christophe Diderot Julien, 2005. "Medición del impacto del huracán Mitch en el bienestar de los hogares de Nicaragua," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 006736, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  4. World Bank, 2007. "Ethiopia - Accelerating Equitable Growth : Country Economic Memorandum, Part 2. Thematic Chapters," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7866, The World Bank.
  5. Mogues, Tewodaj, 2006. "Shocks, livestock asset dynamics and social capital in Ethiopia:," DSGD discussion papers 38, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Barnett, Barry J. & Barrett, Christopher B. & Skees, Jerry R., 2008. "Poverty Traps and Index-Based Risk Transfer Products," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1766-1785, October.
  7. World Bank, 2008. "Ethiopia - A Country Study on the Economic Impacts of Climate Change," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8030, The World Bank.
  8. Fisher, Monica & Chaudhury, Moushumi & McCusker, Brent, 2010. "Do Forests Help Rural Households Adapt to Climate Variability? Evidence from Southern Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(9), pages 1241-1250, September.
  9. Kebede, Sindu & Fekadu, Belay & Aredo, Dejene, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: A Macro-Micro Analysis in Ethiopia," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 44, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.

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