Cash transfers and nutrition: The role of market isolation after weather shocks

Stephan Dietrich*, Georg Schmerzeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Cash transfers are a widely used policy instrument in Sub-Saharan Africa to shield vulnerable populations from malnutrition. In this paper, we focus on the role of local food markets after weather shocks as a facilitating factor for program impacts on nutrition. As food prices tend to be negatively correlated with households' own production in isolated markets, we expect the purchasing power of cash transfers to decrease after harvest failures in such markets. To test this, we analyze the impact of Kenya's Hunger Safety Net Programme during the 2011 drought in the Horn of Africa, considering the impacts on food consumption and the availability of macro- and micro-nutrients at the household level. We particularly focus on heterogeneous program impacts depending on the exposure to the drought, measured with satellite imagery, and impacts depending on the isolation of local food markets, approximated by price differences between community and wholesale maize prices. Our findings indicate that, despite some encouraging effects on proxy indicators, the program does not have significant impacts on nutrient availability on average. However, we do observe significant positive impacts for drought affected households in less isolated communities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101739
Number of pages22
JournalFood Policy
Volume87
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Keywords

  • CHILDREN
  • Cash transfers
  • DEFICIENCIES
  • FOOD SECURITY
  • HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION
  • IMPACT
  • INTEGRATION
  • INTERVENTIONS
  • Kenya
  • Natural disaster
  • Nutrient intake
  • PATTERNS
  • PRICES
  • SCHOOLING ATTAINMENT
  • Social protection
  • ETHIOPIA

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