Aspirations and Income, Food Security and Subjective Well-Being in Rural Ethiopia

50 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2016

See all articles by Daniel Mekonnen

Daniel Mekonnen

University of Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Nicolas Gerber

University of Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF)

Date Written: April 1, 2016

Abstract

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 the household per-capita income and expenditure and 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). Contrary to a few other studies, we also find strong evidence that, in rural Ethiopia, aspirations are positively associated with satisfaction in life and/or happiness. Findings in this study provide suggestive evidence that policies aimed at improving well-being outcomes might benefit from multiple effects (both direct and indirect) if they incorporate aspirations raising strategies.

Keywords: Aspirations, income, poverty, food security, subjective well-being, Ethiopia

JEL Classification: D03, I31, O12

Suggested Citation

Mekonnen, Daniel and Gerber, Nicolas, Aspirations and Income, Food Security and Subjective Well-Being in Rural Ethiopia (April 1, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2768191 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2768191

Daniel Mekonnen (Contact Author)

University of Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF) ( email )

Walter-Flex-Str. 3
Bonn, NRW 53113
Germany

Nicolas Gerber

University of Bonn - Center for Development Research (ZEF) ( email )

Walter-Flex-Strasse 3
Bonn, D-53113
Germany

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