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Migration and child development during the food price crisis in El Salvador

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  • de Brauw, Alan

Abstract

Migration is often used as parts of both ex post and ex ante strategies to mitigate risks to household incomes. There is little empirical evidence, however, of the way that migration actually helps households in times of shocks. In this paper, I describe how the peak of the worldwide food price crisis affected anthropometric statistics among young children in El Salvador, and how households with access to international migrants were not affected as negatively as households without such access. In 2008, El Salvador experienced food price inflation of 15%, and the evaluation of Red Solidaria, El Salvador's conditional cash transfer program, shows that height-for-age (HAZ) Z scores among children under 3 years old declined by 0.2 standard deviations on average. In this paper, I use the Red Solidaria evaluation data to assess whether children in households with access to remittances or international migrants were better off than households without access to migration income. Using both repeated cross-sectional data and individual panel data, I find that as theory would expect, children in households with access to international migrants have much lower declines in their HAZ scores.

Suggested Citation

  • de Brauw, Alan, 2011. "Migration and child development during the food price crisis in El Salvador," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 28-40, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfpoli:v:36:y:2011:i:1:p:28-40
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    1. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-89 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Arndt, Channing & Østerdal, Lars Peter & Hussain, M. Azhar, 2012. "Effects of Food Price Shocks on Child Malnutrition," WIDER Working Paper Series 089, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    3. Kalkuhl, Matthias & von Braun, Joachim & Torero, Maximo, 2016. "Food Price Volatility and Its Implications for Food Security and Policy," MPRA Paper 72164, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Mueller, Valerie & Kovarik, Chiara & Sproule, Kathryn & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 2015. "Migration, gender, and farming systems in Asia: Evidence, data, and knowledge gaps:," IFPRI discussion papers 1458, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Matthias Kalkuhl & Lukas Kornher & Marta Kozicka & Pierre Boulanger & Maximo Torero, 2013. "Conceptual framework on price volatility and its impact on food and nutrition security in the short term," FOODSECURE Working papers 15, LEI Wageningen UR.
    6. Combes, Jean-Louis & Ebeke, Christian Hubert & Etoundi, Sabine Mireille Ntsama & Yogo, Thierry Urbain, 2014. "Are Remittances and Foreign Aid a Hedge Against Food Price Shocks in Developing Countries?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 81-98.
    7. Arndt, Channing & Hussain, M. Azhar & Salvucci, Vincenzo & Østerdal, Lars Peter, 2016. "Effects of food price shocks on child malnutrition: The Mozambican experience 2008/2009," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 1-13.
    8. Torero, Máximo & Viceisza, Angelino, 2015. "To remit, or not to remit: that is the question. A remittance field experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 221-236.
    9. García-Germán, Sol & Romeo, Alessandro & Magrini, Emiliano & Balié, Jean, 2016. "The impact of food price shocks on weight loss: Evidence from the adult population of Tanzania," DARE Discussion Papers 1611, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    10. Balié, Jean & Magrini, Emiliano & Morales Opazo, Cristian, 2016. "Cereal price shocks and volatility in Sub-Saharan Africa: What does really matter for farmers' welfare?," DARE Discussion Papers 1607, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    11. Rosemary E. Isoto & David S. Kraybill, 2017. "Remittances and household nutrition: evidence from rural Kilimanjaro in Tanzania," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 9(2), pages 239-253, April.

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