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A Test of the New Variant Famine Hypothesis: Panel Survey Evidence from Zambia

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  • Mason, Nicole M.
  • Jayne, T.S.
  • Chapoto, Antony
  • Myers, Robert J.

Abstract

Summary The new variant famine (NVF) hypothesis postulates that HIV/AIDS is eroding rural livelihoods and making agrarian communities more sensitive and less resilient to drought and other shocks. NVF has become a high profile but controversial part of the literature on HIV/AIDS and food crises, in part because it has not been subjected to detailed empirical testing. In this paper, an econometric analysis using panel data from Zambia indicates that increases in district-level HIV prevalence rates over the period 1991/92 to 2004/05 have had variable but generally negative impacts on agricultural production. NVF-type outcomes, defined narrowly as negative interactions between HIV/AIDS and drought, are more evident in areas of low rainfall, high land-to-labor ratios, and high HIV prevalence levels. These findings provide guarded support for the NVF hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Mason, Nicole M. & Jayne, T.S. & Chapoto, Antony & Myers, Robert J., 2010. "A Test of the New Variant Famine Hypothesis: Panel Survey Evidence from Zambia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 356-368, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:38:y:2010:i:3:p:356-368
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    1. David Mather & Cynthia Donovan & T. S. Jayne & Michael Weber, 2005. "Using Empirical Information in the Era of HIV/AIDS to Inform Mitigation and Rural Development Strategies: Selected Results from African Country Studies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1289-1297.
    2. Yamano, Takashi & Jayne, T. S., 2004. "Measuring the Impacts of Working-Age Adult Mortality on Small-Scale Farm Households in Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 91-119, January.
    3. Mather, David & Donovan, Cynthia & Weber, Michael T. & de Marrule, Higino Francisco & Alage, Albertina, 2004. "Household Responses to Prime Age Adult Mortality in Rural Mozambique: Implications for HIV/AIDS Mitigation Efforts and Rural Economic Development Policies," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 56060, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    4. Gillespie, Stuart, 2006. "AIDS, poverty, and hunger: challenges and responses," Food policy statements 43, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Megill, David J., 2004. "Recommendations on Sample Design for Post-Harvest Surveys in Zambia Based on the 2000 Census," Food Security Collaborative Working Papers 54468, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
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    7. Antony Chapoto & T. S. Jayne, 2008. "Impact of AIDS-Related Mortality on Farm Household Welfare in Zambia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 327-374.
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    9. Suneetha Kadiyala & Stuart Gillespie, 2006. "Community-level Impacts of AIDS-Related Mortality: Panel Survey Evidence from Zambia ," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(3), pages 440-457.
    10. Bryceson, Deborah Fahy & Fonseca, Jodie, 2006. "Risking death for survival: Peasant responses to hunger and HIV/AIDS in Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1654-1666, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kusunose, Yoko & Tembo, Solomon & Mason, Nicole M., 2015. "Do crop income shocks widen disparities in smallholder agricultural investments? Panel survey evidence from Zambia," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205555, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Resnick, Danielle & Thurlow, James, 2014. "The political economy of Zambia’s recovery: Structural change without transformation?:," IFPRI discussion papers 1320, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    HIV/AIDS food security rural livelihoods new variant famine hypothesis Zambia Africa;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets

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