Coping with shocks in rural Ethiopia

TitleCoping with shocks in rural Ethiopia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsZ. Yilma, A. Mebratie, R. Sparrow, D. Abebaw, M. Dekker, G. Alemu, and A.S. Bedi
Secondary TitleJournal of development studies
Pagination1009 - 1024
Date Published2014///
Publication Languageeng
Keywordsconsumption, Country, Ethiopia, family, food, gifts, health, health care, history, households, labour, sales

Using survey data and event history interviews undertaken in Ethiopia, we investigate which shocks trigger which coping responses and why. Relatively covariate natural and economic shocks trigger reductions in savings and in food consumption, while relatively idiosyncratic health shocks prompt reductions in savings and a reliance on borrowing. Surprisingly, across all shocks, households do not rely on gifts from family and friends, highlighting the need for formal protection systems. We argue that the insensitivity of food consumption to health shocks does not imply insurability but indicates that it is not a viable response to such a shock.

Citation Key6534