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Coping with shocks in rural Ethiopia

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  • Debebe, Z.Y.
  • Mebratie, A.D.
  • Sparrow, R.A.
  • Abebaw Ejigie, D.
  • Dekker, M.
  • Alemu, G.
  • Bedi, A.S.

Abstract

Based on household survey data and event history interviews undertaken in a highly shock prone country, this paper investigates which shocks trigger which coping responses and why? We find clear differences in terms of coping strategies across shock types. The two relatively covariate shocks, that is, economic and natural shocks are more likely to trigger reductions in savings and in food consumption while the sale of assets and borrowing is less common. Coping with relatively idiosyncratic health shocks is met by reductions in savings, asset sales and especially a far greater reliance on borrowing as compared to other shocks. Reductions in food consumption, a prominent response in the case of natural and economic shocks is notably absent in the case of health shocks. Across all shock types, households do not rely on gifts from family and friends or on enhancing their labour supply as coping approaches. The relative insensitivity of food consumption to health shocks based on the shocks-coping analysis presented here is consistent with existing work which examines consumption insurance. However, our analysis leads to a different interpretation. We argue that this insensitivity should not be viewed as insurability of food consumption against health shocks but rather as an indication that a reduction in food consumption is not a viable coping response to a health shock as it does not provide cash to meet health care needs.

Suggested Citation

  • Debebe, Z.Y. & Mebratie, A.D. & Sparrow, R.A. & Abebaw Ejigie, D. & Dekker, M. & Alemu, G. & Bedi, A.S., 2013. "Coping with shocks in rural Ethiopia," ISS Working Papers - General Series 560, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:euriss:40374
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. De Weerdt, Joachim & Dercon, Stefan, 2006. "Risk-sharing networks and insurance against illness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 337-356, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ags:eeaeje:259504 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Lazzaroni, Sara & Wagner, Natascha, 2016. "Misfortunes never come singly: Structural change, multiple shocks and child malnutrition in rural Senegal," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 246-262.
    3. Tesfamicheal Wossen & Salvatore Falco & Thomas Berger & William McClain, 2016. "You are not alone: social capital and risk exposure in rural Ethiopia," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(4), pages 799-813, August.
    4. repec:eee:agisys:v:163:y:2018:i:c:p:7-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:gam:jscscx:v:7:y:2018:i:4:p:54-:d:139396 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Zelalem Yilma & Anagaw Mebratie & Robert Sparrow & Marleen Dekker & Getnet Alemu & Arjun S. Bedi, 2015. "Impact of Ethiopia's Community Based Health Insurance on Household Economic Welfare," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(suppl_1), pages 164-173.
    7. Ngigi, Marther W. & Müller, Ulrike & Birner, Regina, 2015. "The role of livestock portfolios and group-based approaches for building resilience in the face of accelerating climate change: An asset-based panel data analysis from rural Kenya," Discussion Papers 210703, University of Bonn, Center for Development Research (ZEF).
    8. Hirvonen, Kalle & Bossuyt, Anne & Pigois, Remy, 2017. "Complementarities between social protection and health sector policies: Evidence from the Productive Safety Net Program in Ethiopia," ESSP working papers 112, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Debebe, Z.Y. & Mebratie, A.D. & Sparrow, R.A. & Dekker, M. & Alemu, G. & Bedi, A.S., 2014. "Channels of impoverishment due to ill-health in rural Ethiopia," ISS Working Papers - General Series 76962, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    10. Shigute, Zemzem & Strupat, Christoph & Burchi, Francesco & Alemu, Getnet & Bedi, Arjun S., 2017. "The Joint Effects of a Health Insurance and a Public Works Scheme in Rural Ethiopia," IZA Discussion Papers 10939, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    Keywords

    Ethiopia; adversity of shocks; coping response; health shocks; shocks;

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