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The impact of drought on household vulnerability: The case of rural Malawi

  • Makoka, Donald

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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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/15399/1/MPRA_paper_15399.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15399.

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Date of creation: 05 Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15399
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  1. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
  2. Luc J. Christiaensen & Kalanidhi Subbarao, 2005. "Towards an Understanding of Household Vulnerability in Rural Kenya," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(4), pages 520-558, December.
  3. Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2001. " Child Growth in the Time of Drought," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(4), pages 409-36, September.
  4. Tesliuc, Emil D. & Lindert, Kathy, 2004. "Risk and vulnerability in Guatemala: a quantitative and qualitative assessment," Social Protection Discussion Papers 30154, The World Bank.
  5. Harold Alderman & Trina Haque, 2007. "Insurance Against Covariate Shocks : The Role of Index-Based Insurance in Social Protection in Low-Income Countries of Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6736, May.
  6. Harrower, Sarah & Hoddinott, John, 2004. "Consumption soothing and vulnerability in the Zone Lacustre, Mali," FCND discussion papers 175, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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