Not Necessarily in the Same Boat: Heterogeneous Risk Assessment Among East African Pastoralists

35 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 1999

See all articles by Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

International Rescue Committee

Christopher B. Barrett

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management

Paul W. Box

Utah State University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 1999

Abstract

This paper studies variation in risk assessment by pastoralists in the arid and semi-arid lands of southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. Despite superficial homogeneity among east African pastoralists, we show that there exists considerable within-group heterogeneity in their assessment of various risks. We conceptualize risk as comprised of four distinct components: objective exposure, subjective perception, ex ante mitigation capacity, and ex post coping capacity. This conceptualization provides an effective framework for understanding the observed heterogeneity as the natural consequence of (sometimes modest) structural differences in economic activity patterns, agroclimatic conditions, proximity to towns, wealth, and gender roles. It therefore provides a useful tool for drawing out the policy implications of subjects' expressed concerns about prospective livelihood hazards.

JEL Classification: O1, Q1

Suggested Citation

Smith, Kevin and Barrett, Christopher B. and Box, Paul W., Not Necessarily in the Same Boat: Heterogeneous Risk Assessment Among East African Pastoralists (September 1999). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=185368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.185368

Kevin Smith

International Rescue Committee ( email )

New York, NY
United States

Christopher B. Barrett (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management ( email )

315 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7801
United States
607-255-4489 (Phone)
607-255-9984 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://aem.cornell.edu/faculty_sites/cbb2/

Paul W. Box

Utah State University ( email )

Logan, UT 84322-3530
United States

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