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Changes in the Rural Economy in Bangladesh under COVID-19 Lockdown Measures: Evidence from a Phone Survey of Mahbub Hossain Sample Households


  • Mohammad, Abdul Malek

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Truong, Hoa T.

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Sonobe, Tetsushi

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)


We offer a comprehensive picture of the rural economy in Bangladesh during the first three months of the lockdown period in comparison with the pre-COVID-19 situation. Using a nationally representative sample (of 2,312 rural households from 62 villages in 56 districts) known as the Mahbub Hossain Survey sample, we conducted a telephone survey in June 2020. Our descriptive and regression analyses suggest that, during the survey period, the rural economy experienced several adverse impacts from the containment measures, such as a delayed harvest, difficulty in selling farm produce, labor and material input disruptions and cost increases, and reductions in remittance receipts and non-farm business sales. Rural households had to reduce their food consumption and receive food support from the government and cash support from the private sector. Vulnerability was especially apparent in households with a head who was female, less educated, young, or casual labor. Livelihoods varied significantly among geographic areas according to the concentration of the infection and less significantly according to the stringency of the lockdown measures. We also found that rural households preferred cash or product support, rural work or employment support, and cash assistance or soft loans for farm inputs and business inputs at the time of the survey.

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  • Mohammad, Abdul Malek & Truong, Hoa T. & Sonobe, Tetsushi, 2021. "Changes in the Rural Economy in Bangladesh under COVID-19 Lockdown Measures: Evidence from a Phone Survey of Mahbub Hossain Sample Households," ADBI Working Papers 1235, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:adbiwp:1235

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ahmed, Firoz & Islam, Asad & Pakrashi, Debayan & Rahman, Tabassum & Siddique, Abu, 2021. "Determinants and dynamics of food insecurity during COVID-19 in rural Bangladesh," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C).
    2. Khondoker Abdul Mottaleb & Mohammed Mainuddin & Tetsushi Sonobe, 2020. "COVID-19 induced economic loss and ensuring food security for vulnerable groups: Policy implications from Bangladesh," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 15(10), pages 1-20, October.
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    More about this item


    rural households; production economy; livelihoods; COVID-19 lockdown measures; Bangladesh;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • R20 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - General

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