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Let it rain: Weather extremes and household welfare in rural Kenya

Author

Listed:
  • Wineman, A.
  • Ochieng, J.
  • Mason, N.
  • Kirimi, L.

Abstract

Households in rural Kenya are sensitive to weather shocks through their reliance on rain-fed agriculture and livestock. This study used the latest data sets of historical weather and household panel data collected in 2000-2007 to understand the impact of exposure to weather extremes –including periods of high and low rainfall, heat, and wind– on household welfare. We find that all types of extreme weather affect household well-being, although effects sometimes differ with income and calorie estimates. Periods of drought are the most consistently negative weather shock across different income groups and agro-ecological regions. Exposure to low rainfall reduces income from both on- and off-farm sources, though households compensate for diminished on-farm production with food purchases. The study further explores the factors that offset the negative effects of drought, and finds that access to credit and membership in a savings group render a household more resilient. Thus, policies and programs to improve access to both financial services and food markets could enhance household resilience to weather shocks.

Suggested Citation

  • Wineman, A. & Ochieng, J. & Mason, N. & Kirimi, L., 2015. "Let it rain: Weather extremes and household welfare in rural Kenya," Food Security Collaborative Policy Briefs 230982, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midcpb:230982
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/230982/files/Policy_Brief_17_Final.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Environmental Economics and Policy; Food Security and Poverty; International Development;

    JEL classification:

    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • 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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