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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 James Levinsohn, Margaret McMillan. "Does Food Aid Harm the Poor? Household Evidence from Ethiopia," in Ann Harrison, editor, "Globalization and Poverty" University of Chicago Press (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. Ann Harrison & Margaret McMillan, 2007. "On the links between globalization and poverty," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 123-134, April.
  2. Jesse M. Cunha & Giacomo De Giorgi & Seema Jayachandran, 2011. "The Price Effects of Cash Versus In-Kind Transfers," NBER Working Papers 17456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ann Harrison, 2006. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 12347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2010. "The Determinants of Food Aid Provisions to Africa and the Developing World," NBER Working Papers 16610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. William Easterly, 2008. "Can the West Save Africa?," NBER Working Papers 14363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Aisbett, Emma & Harrison, Ann & Zwane, Alix, 2006. "Globalization and poverty: what is the evidence?," MPRA Paper 36595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Klugman, Jeni & Loening, Josef, 2007. "Welfare Impacts of Food Price Inflation in Ethiopia," MPRA Paper 24892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. 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.

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