Buy as You Need: Nutrition and Food Storage Imperfections

54 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2017

See all articles by Jeremie Gross

Jeremie Gross

University of Namur - Centre de Recherche en Economie du Developpement (CRED)

Catherine Guirkinger

University of Namur - Department of Economics

Jean‐Philippe Platteau

University of Namur

Date Written: September 2017

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate how the activation of local food markets impacts the nutritional status of both children and adults, in a context characterized by large seasonal fluctuations in the price and availability of foodgrain. Taking advantage of the random scaling-up of a program of Food Security Granaries (FSGs) in Burkina Faso, we make three contributions. First, especially in remote areas where local markets are thin, food market activation considerably dampens nutritional stress. The effect is strongest among children, and young children in particular, for whom deficient nutrition has devastating long-term consequences. Second, and surprisingly, this beneficial effect is obtained despite the fact that total food consumption does not increase as a result of the external intervention. Third, it is a change in the timing of food purchase, translated into a change in the timing of consumption, that drives the nutritional improvement. A simple two-period model shows that an increase in consumption needs not take place when the price of foodgrain declines during the lean season if storage losses are taken into account. More than from the waste of the foodgrain stored, storage costs mainly arise from a self-control problem: foodgrain purchased anticipatorily results in immediate consumption and body mass accumulation, which is less efficient than nutrition-smoothing consumption flows.

Keywords: food security, market activation, nutrition, Self-Control

JEL Classification: D10, O12, O13

Suggested Citation

Gross, Jeremie and Guirkinger, Catherine and Platteau, Jean‐Philippe, Buy as You Need: Nutrition and Food Storage Imperfections (September 2017). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP12264, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3031901

Jeremie Gross (Contact Author)

University of Namur - Centre de Recherche en Economie du Developpement (CRED) ( email )

Rue de Bruxelles 61
Namur, 5000
Belgium

Catherine Guirkinger

University of Namur - Department of Economics ( email )

8 Rempart de la Vierge
Namur, 5000
Belgium

Jean‐Philippe Platteau

University of Namur ( email )

8 rempart de la vierge
Namur, 5000
Belgium

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
247
PlumX Metrics