The impact of drought on household vulnerability: The case of rural Malawi
Vulnerability to poverty in Malawi is highly associated with risk. Households face multiple shocks, most of which threaten their livelihoods and impact negatively on their welfare. Among the important risks that rural households face is drought, which is exacerbated by environmental change. This study analyzes the impact of drought on household’s vulnerability using a two-period panel dataset of 259 rural households in Malawi. In the framework of vulnerability as expected poverty, the study employs the methodology proposed by Christiaensen and Subbarao (2004). The results show that recurrent drought makes households more vulnerable to the extent that households that were affected by drought in both periods were twice as vulnerable as those who experienced drought in only one period. Policies that are aimed at building poor households’ resilience to recurrent drought hold more promise of enabling the households cope with this livelihood-threatening hazard.
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