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Agricultural production, dietary diversity, and climate variability

Listed author(s):
  • Dillon, Andrew
  • McGee, Kevin
  • Oseni, Gbemisola

Nonseparable household models outline the links between agricultural production and household consumption, yet empirical extensions to investigate the effect of production on dietary diversity and diet composition are limited. Although a significant literature has investigated the calorie-income elasticity abstracting from production, this paper provides an empirical application of the nonseparable household model linking the effect of exogenous variation in planting season production decisions via climate variability on household dietary diversity. Using exogenous variation in degree days, rainfall, and agricultural capital stocks as instruments, the effect of production on household dietary diversity at harvest is estimated. The empirical specifications estimate production effects on dietary diversity using both agricultural revenue and crop production diversity. Significant effects of agricultural revenue and crop production diversity on dietary diversity are estimated. The dietary diversity-production elasticities imply that a 10 percent increase in agricultural revenue or crop diversity results in a 1.8 percent or 2.4 percent increase in dietary diversity, respectively. These results illustrate that agricultural income growth or increased crop diversity may not be sufficient to ensure improved dietary diversity. Increases in agricultural revenue do change diet composition. Estimates of the effect of agricultural income on share of calories by food groups indicate relatively large changes in diet composition. On average, a 10 percent increase in agricultural revenue makes households 7.2 percent more likely to consume vegetables and 3.5 percent more likely to consume fish, and increases the share of tubers consumed by 5.2 percent.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 7022.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2014
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:7022
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  1. Muller, Christophe, 2009. "Do agricultural outputs of partly autarkic peasants affect their health and nutrition? Evidence from Rwanda," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 166-175, April.
  2. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  3. Strauss, John, 1984. "Joint determination of food consumption and production in rural Sierra Leone : Estimates of a household-firm model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 77-103.
  4. Aromolaran, Adebayo B., 2004. "Household income, women's income share and food calorie intake in South Western Nigeria," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 507-530, October.
  5. Bhagowalia, Priya & Headey, Derek D. & Kadiyala, Suneetha, 2012. "Agriculture, Income, and Nutrition Linkages in India: Insights from a Nationally Representative Survey:," IFPRI discussion papers 1195, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Zezza, Alberto & Tasciotti, Luca, 2010. "Urban agriculture, poverty, and food security: Empirical evidence from a sample of developing countries," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 265-273, August.
  7. Kira M. Villa & Christopher B. Barrett & David R. Just, 2011. "Whose Fast and Whose Feast? Intrahousehold Asymmetries in Dietary Diversity Response Among East African Pastoralists," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1062-1081.
  8. Jones, Andrew D. & Shrinivas, Aditya & Bezner-Kerr, Rachel, 2014. "Farm production diversity is associated with greater household dietary diversity in Malawi: Findings from nationally representative data," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 1-12.
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