Shocks as a Source of Vulnerability: An Empirical Investigation from Pakistan
The objective of this paper is to investigate the i ncidence of different types of shocks and identify the household characte ristics that are associated with this phenomenon. It is observed that one-fourt h of households experience an adverse shock, be it natural, agricultural, econ omic, social or relating to health.. The natural/agricultural shocks have major share in the total burden of shocks while the households’ coping mechanism is ov erwhelmingly informal and largely asset-based. The poorest of the househ olds adopt behaviour-based strategies like reducing food consumption, employ c hild labour, work more hours etc. Overall, large rural households with age d heads and ownership of land and livestock are more likely to suffer shocks, par ticularly of the natural/ agricultural kind. For all these reasons, a gradual shift from traditional emergency relief measures towards ex-ante actions t o reduce and mitigate hazard impacts should be encouraged along with non- exploitative credit and more effective safety nets
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