Coping with shocks in rural Ethiopia

Zelalem Yilma, Anagaw Mebratie, Robert Sparrow, Degnet Abebaw, Marleen Dekker, Getnet Alemu, Arjun Bedi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1009-1024
    JournalJournal of Development Studies
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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