Aspirations and food security in rural Ethiopia

Despite some improvements in recent years, poverty and food insecurity remain widespread and the main challenges in Ethiopia. Using individual and household level data collected in rural Ethiopia, we examine if aspirations are strongly associated with well-being outcomes, as posited in the aspirations failure framework articulated by Ray (2006) and others. We employ both bivariate and multivariate analyses. We find that aspirations (particularly that of the household head) are indeed strongly associated with various triangulating measures of household food (in)security including per-capita calorie consumption, the food consumption score (FCS), the household dietary diversity score (HDDS), and the household food insecurity access scale (HFIAS). We discuss the channels through which aspirations might affect food security. Findings in this study provide suggestive evidence that policies aimed at improving food security might benefit from multiple effects (both direct and indirect) if they incorporate aspirations raising strategies.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-13

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