Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/229660
Authors: 
Janssens, Wendy
Pradhan, Menno
de Groot, Richard
Sidze, Estelle
Donfouet, Hermann
Abajobir, Amanuel
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper No. TI 2020-040/V
Abstract: 
This research assesses how low-income households in Western Kenya coped with the immediate economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. It uses granular financial data from weekly household interviews covering six weeks before the first case was detected in Kenya to five weeks after. Our results suggest that income from work decreased with almost one third and income from gifts and remittances reduced by more than one third since the start of the pandemic. Nevertheless, household expenditures on food remained at pre-outbreak levels after preventive measures were implemented. We do not find evidence that households coped with reduced income through increased borrowing, selling assets or withdrawing savings. Instead, they gave out less gifts and remittances themselves, lent less money to others and postponed loan repayments. Moreover, they significantly reduced expenditures on schooling and transportation, related to the school closures and travel restrictions. Taken together and despite their affected livelihoods, households managed to keep food consumption at par, but this came at the cost of reduced informal risk-sharing and social support between households.
Subjects: 
COVID-19
lockdown
economic effects
food security
risk-coping
East-Africa
Kenya
JEL: 
I38
O12
I15
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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