Food Security in Afghanistan: Household-level Evidence from the 2007-08 Food Price Crisis

39 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2010 Last revised: 21 Oct 2010

See all articles by Anna D'Souza

Anna D'Souza

School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, CUNY

Dean Jolliffe

World Bank; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: August 1, 2010

Abstract

This paper investigates the impact of rising food prices – during the 2007/08 global food crisis – on food security in Afghanistan. Exploiting the temporal stratification of a unique nationally-representative household survey, we find evidence of large declines in real per capita food consumption and in food security (i.e., per capita calorie intake and household dietary diversity) corresponding to the price shocks. The data reveal smaller price elasticities with respect to calories than with respect to food consumption, suggesting that households trade off quality for quantity as they move towards staple foods and away from nutrient-rich foods such as meat and vegetables. In addition, we observe Giffen good properties, i.e., increased demand in the face of price increases, for staple foods (wheat) in urban areas. Our work improves upon country-level simulation studies by providing estimates of actual household wellbeing before and during the height of the global food crisis in one of the world’s poorest, most food-insecure countries.

Keywords: food security, high food prices, nutrition, poverty, Afghanistan

JEL Classification: D12, I3

Suggested Citation

D'Souza, Anna E. and Jolliffe, Dean Mitchell, Food Security in Afghanistan: Household-level Evidence from the 2007-08 Food Price Crisis (August 1, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1658510 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1658510

Anna E. D'Souza (Contact Author)

School of Public Affairs, Baruch College, CUNY ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/annadsouza/

Dean Mitchell Jolliffe

World Bank ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.deanjolliffe.net

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.iza.org/en/webcontent/index_html

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