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Does Food Aid Harm the Poor? Household Evidence from Ethiopia

In: Globalization and Poverty

  • James Levinsohn
  • Margaret McMillan

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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This chapter was published in:
  • Ann Harrison, 2007. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number harr06-1, July.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0109.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0109
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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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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