Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/110456
Authors: 
Lange, Simon
Reimers, Malte
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
GlobalFood Discussion Papers 65
Abstract: 
Livestock holdings in rural areas of the West African Semi-arid Tropics (WASAT) are often substantial yet there is little evidence for precautionary saving in the form of livestock. This paper re-visits farm households' ability to smooth consumption ex post via savings in the form of livestock. Based on data covering Burkina Faso's 2004 drought, we find that livestock sales increase significantly in response to drought with households citing the need to finance food consumption. Some consumption smoothing is achieved via adjustments to grain stocks, but households apparently fail to smooth consumption by adjusting livestock holdings. We argue that this seemingly contradictory finding is largely due to a decrease in relative livestock prices during droughts. This renders selling livestock a costly coping strategy and underlines the need for market integration.
Subjects: 
precautionary saving
livestock
coping strategies
price risk
Africa
WASAT
JEL: 
D14
D91
O16
Q12
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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