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Impacts of COVID-19 on Food Security: Panel Data Evidence from Nigeria


  • Amare, Mulubrhan
  • Abay, Kibrom A.
  • Tiberti, Luca
  • Chamberlin, Jordan


This paper combines pre-pandemic face-to-face survey data with follow up phone surveys collected in April-May 2020 to quantify the overall and differential impacts of COVID-19 on household food security, labor market participation and local food prices in Nigeria. We exploit spatial variation in exposure to COVID-19 related infections and lockdown measures along with temporal differences in our outcomes of interest using a difference-in-difference approach. We find that those households exposed to higher COVID-19 cases or mobility lockdowns experience a significant increase in measures of food insecurity. Examining possible transmission channels for this effect, we find that COVID-19 significantly reduces labor market participation and increases food prices. We find that impacts differ by economic activities and households. For instance, lockdown measures increased households' experience of food insecurity by 13 percentage points and reduced the probability of participation in non-farm business activities by 11 percentage points. These lockdown measures have smaller impacts on wage-related activities and farming activities. In terms of food security, households relying on non-farm businesses, poorer households, those with school-aged children, and those living in remote and conflicted-affected zones have experienced relatively larger deteriorations in food security. These findings can help inform immediate and medium-term policy responses, including social protection policies aiming at ameliorating the impacts of the pandemic, as well as guide targeting strategies of governments and international donor agencies by identifying the most impacted sub-populations.

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  • Amare, Mulubrhan & Abay, Kibrom A. & Tiberti, Luca & Chamberlin, Jordan, 2020. "Impacts of COVID-19 on Food Security: Panel Data Evidence from Nigeria," GLO Discussion Paper Series 653, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:653

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Al Mouskit Akim & Firmin Ayivodji & Jeffrey Kouton, 2021. "Do Remittances Mitigate COVID-19 Employment Shock on Food Insecurity? Evidence from Nigeria," Working Papers 4, Africa Institute for Research in Economics and Social Sciences.
    2. Anne E. Fitzpatrick & Sabrin A. Beg & Laura C. Derksen & Anne Karing & Jason T. Kerwin & Adrienne Lucas & Natalia Ordaz Reynoso & Munir Squires, 2021. "Health Knowledge and Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Africa," NBER Working Papers 28316, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kalle Hirvonen & Alan de Brauw & Gashaw T. Abate, 2021. "Food Consumption and Food Security during the COVID‐19 Pandemic in Addis Ababa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(3), pages 772-789, May.
    4. Gruère, Guillaume & Brooks, Jonathan, 2021. "Viewpoint: Characterising early agricultural and food policy responses to the outbreak of COVID-19," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    5. Ilan Strauss & Gilad Isaacs & Josh Rosenberg, 2021. "The effect of shocks to GDP on employment in SADC member states during COVID‐19 using a Bayesian hierarchical model," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 33(S1), pages 221-237, April.

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    More about this item


    COVID-19; Pandemic; Food security; labor market participation; food price;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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