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Does Food Aid Harm the Poor? Household Evidence from Ethiopia

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  • James Levinsohn
  • Margaret McMillan

Abstract

This paper uses household-level data from Ethiopia to investigate the impact of food aid on the poor. We find that food aid in Ethiopia is "pro-poor." Our results indicate that (i) net buyers of wheat are poorer than net sellers of wheat, (ii) there are more buyers of wheat than sellers of wheat at all levels of income, (iii) the proportion of net sellers is increasing in living standards and (iv) net benefit ratios are higher for poorer households indicating that poorer households benefit proportionately more from a drop in the price of wheat. In light of this evidence, it appears that households at all levels of income benefit from food aid and that - somewhat surprisingly - the benefits go disproportionately to the poorest households.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11048.

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Date of creation: Jan 2005
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Publication status: published as Does Food Aid Harm the Poor? Household Evidence from Ethiopia , James Levinsohn, Margaret McMillan. in Globalization and Poverty , Harrison. 2007
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11048

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  1. Christopher B. Barrett & Paul A. Dorosh, 1996. "Farmers' Welfare and Changing Food Prices: Nonparametric Evidence from Rice in Madagascar," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(3), pages 656-669.
  2. Christopher B. Barrett, 1998. "Food Aid: Is It Development Assistance, Trade Promotion, Both, or Neither?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(3), pages 566-571.
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Cited by:
  1. Nunn, Nathan & Qian, Nancy, 2012. "Aiding Conflict: The Impact of U.S. Food Aid on Civil War," CEPR Discussion Papers 8799, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Ann Harrison, 2006. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 12347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cunha, Jesse & De Giorgi, Giacomo & Jayachandran, Seema, 2011. "The Price Effects of Cash Versus In-Kind Transfers," CEPR Discussion Papers 8581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Broussard, Nzinga H & Dercon, Stefan & Somanathan, Rohini, 2012. "Aid and Agency in Africa: Explaining Food Disbursements Across Ethiopian Households, 1994-2004," CEPR Discussion Papers 8861, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. William Easterly, 2009. "Can the West Save Africa?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 373-447, June.
  6. Rios, Ana R. & Shively, Gerald E. & Masters, William A., 2009. "Agricultural Prices and Income Distribution among Farmers: A Whole-Household, Multi-Country, Multi-Year Analysis," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49314, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  7. Lentz, Erin C. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Improving Food Aid: What Reforms Would Yield the Highest Payoff?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1152-1172, July.
  8. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2014. "The Determinants of Food Aid Provisions to Africa and the Developing World," NBER Chapters, in: African Successes: Sustainable Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2007. "On the links between globalization and poverty," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 123-134, April.
  10. Gelan, Ayele Ulfata, 2007. "Does food aid have disincentive effects on local production? A general equilibrium perspective on food aid in Ethiopia," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 436-458, August.
  11. Aisbett, Emma & Harrison, Ann & Zwane, Alix, 2006. "Globalization and poverty: what is the evidence?," MPRA Paper 36595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  12. Barrett, Christopher B., 2008. "Smallholder market participation: Concepts and evidence from eastern and southern Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 299-317, August.
  13. del Ninno, Carlo & Dorosh, Paul A. & Subbarao, Kalanidhi, 2007. "Food aid, domestic policy and food security: Contrasting experiences from South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 413-435, August.
  14. Garg, Teevrat & Barrett, Christopher B. & Gómez, Miguel I. & Lentz, Erin C. & Violette, William J., 2013. "Market Prices and Food Aid Local and Regional Procurement and Distribution: A Multi-Country Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 19-29.
  15. Klugman, Jeni & Loening, Josef, 2007. "Welfare Impacts of Food Price Inflation in Ethiopia," MPRA Paper 24892, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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