Coping with Shocks: Evidence from the Life in Kyrgyzstan Study
Ein Vortrag von Tilman Brück (Leibniz-Institut für Gemüse- und Zierpflanzenbau [IGZ]/International Security and Development Center, Berlin [ISDC]) im Rahmen der Seminarreihe des AB Ökonomie am IOS.
Datum: 18. Februar 2020
Zeit: 13.30 Uhr
Ort: Leibniz-Institut für Ost-und Südosteuropaforschung (IOS), Landshuter Str. 4 (Raum 109)
Smallholder households in developing and transition countries respond to adverse shocks such as unemployment or adverse weather with a range of different strategies – and these responses in turn have a range of different welfare . In this seminar, I will review evidence for the impact of different shocks on household behaviour and welfare in Kyrgyzstan, drawing on evidence from the Life in Kyrgyzstan Study.
First, I will discuss the impact of shocks in the labour market. Off-farm employment is often cited as a strategy to cope with on-farm shocks. In contrast, I will analyse the opposite relationship, namely whether households in Kyrgyzstan, a country where land access is almost universal, adjust their agricultural production to cope with an off-farm unemployment shock. Using panel data methods, I will demonstrate that households on average increase their self-consumption of agricultural produce, increase livestock income and decrease crop income following an unemployment shock. These effects are different for the relatively poorest households in the sample. All in all, results are in line with previous literature pointing out the importance of livestock for coping. However, we add to this literature by showing that also off-farm shocks may be compensated with on-farm coping strategies.
Second, I will present evidence on how child health responds to adverse weather shocks in Kyrgyzstan. While research on child health has been extensively growing in the recent decades, child health in Central Asia received very little attention in the academic literature. According to the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys in Central Asia, the number of stunted children aged 0-5 years old has been a major problem in the Central Asian countries, with 26%, 22% and 18% stunted in Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, respectively. Using data from the Life in Kyrgyzstan Study during the years 2010-2016, I will investigate the main socioeconomic determinants of child health measured by the standard indicators widely used in the medical and health economics literature: weight-for-height (WHZ), height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ) z-scores and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC). In our study, we follow 2,448 children under age of five. Preliminary results suggest that weather-type shocks such as very cold winters and frosts have detrimental impact on height-for-age; children’s health is negatively influenced by the high food prices in the rural communities, and girls are on average healthier than boys. To our knowledge, this is the first longitudinal study of child health in Central Asia.