Seasonality of income and poverty in Bangladesh
Seasonal food deprivation in Bangladesh, locally known as Monga, sometimes rises to the level of famine during the pre-harvest period of aman rice. An analysis of household income and expenditure survey data shows that income and consumption are lower during Monga than in other seasons, and that seasonal income greatly influences seasonal consumption. Econometric estimates reject the hypothesis of perfect consumption smoothing. In the northwestern region of greater Rangpur, rural households suffer disproportionately from Monga. Seasonal differences in poverty across regions are due mainly to differences in household-specific seasonality of income and consumption. Income diversification explains the lower incidence of income seasonality observed in non-Rangpur regions. To contain seasonal hunger in greater Rangpur, public policies should promote rural income diversification together with seasonal migration. A flexible microfinance scheme that provides both production and consumption loans on flexible repayment terms could help diversify income and reduce seasonality of income and poverty.
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