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Consumption soothing and vulnerability in the Zone Lacustre, Mali

  • Harrower, Sarah
  • Hoddinott, John

"This paper explores risk sharing in the Zone Lacustre, Mali, as viewed through the lens of consumption smoothing. We find that idiosyncratic shocks appear to have little impact on consumption, and that households respond to these shocks in a variety of ways. In general, nonpoor households are more likely to enter into new income-generating activities while poor households are more likely to engage in credit or gift exchange or to ration consumption. When we construct a stronger test for consumption smoothing, we find that changes in household income lead to modest changes in consumption. Covariant shocks, as measured by village/round dummies, always lead to changes in consumption. These results are robust to concerns regarding bias resulting from measurement error or endogeneity of changes in income. Lastly, we find that households with access to improved water control infrastructure are less vulnerable than those that rely on rainfall or the flooding of the Niger River." Authors' Abstract

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND briefs with number 175.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcndbr:175
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  1. Robert M. Townsend, 1995. "Consumption Insurance: An Evaluation of Risk-Bearing Systems in Low-Income Economies," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 83-102, Summer.
  2. Morduch, Jonathan, 1999. "Between the State and the Market: Can Informal Insurance Patch the Safety Net?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 14(2), pages 187-207, August.
  3. Haddad, Lawrence James & Adato, Michelle, 2001. "How effectively do public works programs transfer benefits to the poor?," FCND briefs 108, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. L. Christiaensen & J. Hoddinott & G. Bergeron, 2001. "Comparing village characteristics derived from rapid appraisals and household surveys: A tale from northern Mali," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 1-20.
  5. Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1999. "Social roles, human capital, and the intrahousehold division of labor," FCND discussion papers 73, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  7. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2000. "Vulnerability, seasonality and poverty in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 25-53.
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