Households & Food Security

Households & Food Security

Households are the basic structure of human organization. In developing countries, what determines a household member is often who shares meals together. Thus, food security is not just a concern for individuals in isolation but for the overall household structure. We have a number of on-going projects that focus on how households ensure their own food security and how we can help reduce the prevalence of food insecurity among vulnerable populations.

This study assesses the impact of key stress-tolerant rice varieties (STRVs) in South Asia. Combining administrative data on variety release with remote sensing data on rainfall, temperature, and the density of green vegetation (NDVI) and using historic data on rainfall and temperature, we determine the impact of these exogenous weather conditions on the NDVI. Then, using district level data on the release of STRVs, we measure the change in NDVI that occurs after the introduction of STRVs. Collaborators: T. Evans (UArizona), R. Mathieu (IRRI), and V. Pede (IRRI).

This work estimates individual consumption to account for intra-household consumption allocation and resource inequality, in order to better understand intra-household poverty and undernutrition in the Philippines. We estimate individual-level poverty rates and nutrition rates for all members within a household, relying on data from National Nutrition Survey (hereafter NNS) of the Philippines. Combining these data with a structural model of intra-household consumption allocation, we are able to determine nutritional and allocative inequality. Collaborators: F. Dizon (World Bank) and Z. Wang (World Bank).

Changes in the household economy lie at the heart of the agricultural transformation. However, the mechanics of this transformation at the micro-level are poorly understood. We propose the idea of an “industrious revolution” as way to understand changes in the rural household economy. Following Hymer and Resnick (1969) we develop a theoretical framework and test our hypotheses using household panel data from rural Bangladesh covering 1988 and 2008. Collaborators: A. Orr (ICRISAT).

We use panel data on rice farmers in the Central Luzon provinces of the Philippines between 1970 and 2016 to test for market completeness, following Benjamin (1992) and LaFave and Thomas (2016). We find that markets in this context are incomplete. This suggests that households rely on labor endowments for their labor demand decisions, rather than solely relying on their production technology to make production decisions. Previously, the recursion test has only been used to identify the existence of market completeness in general; however we show that it can be used to identify one market becoming complete over time. We apply the Benjamin (1992) test to investigate if credit constraints from land reform laws made credit markets incomplete. However, we do not find evidence that credit constraints from land reform laws made credit markets incomplete. Collaborators: E. Kee-Tui (Cornell).