Household Vulnerability to Food Insecurity and the Regional Food Insecurity Gap in Kenya

Korir, Lilian, Rizov, Marian, Ruto, Eric and Walsh, Patrick Paul (2021) Household Vulnerability to Food Insecurity and the Regional Food Insecurity Gap in Kenya. Sustainability, 13 (16). p. 9022. ISSN 2071-1050

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Household Vulnerability to Food Insecurity and the Regional Food Insecurity Gap in Kenya
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Food insecurity remains a vital concern in Kenya. Vulnerable members of the population,
such as children, the elderly, marginalised ethnic minorities, and low-income households, are disproportionately
affected by food insecurity. Following the pioneering work of Sen, which examined
exposure to food insecurity at a household level using his “entitlement approach”, this paper estimates
households’ vulnerability to food insecurity. In turn, the outcome variable is decomposed
in order to explain the food insecurity gap between households classified as “marginalised” and
“non-marginalised”. We applied the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition method to examine vulnerability
to food insecurity and, in particular, contributions of observed differences in socio-demographic characteristics
(endowments) or differences in the returns to these characteristics, which, in our context,
is associated with poor public services and infrastructure in the vicinity of the household. The results
indicated that differences in vulnerability to food insecurity were mainly attributable to observed
differences in socio-demographic characteristics such as education, age, and household income.
Therefore, policies seeking to attain equity by investment into targeted household characteristics in
terms of access to food and other productive resources could effectively combat food insecurity. For
example, policymakers could develop programs for household inclusiveness using education and
social protection programs, including insurance schemes against risk of endowment loss.

Keywords:food insecurity, vulnerability, coping strategies, inequality, regional disparities, social protection
Subjects:L Social studies > L140 Econometrics
L Social studies > L112 Agricultural Economics
L Social studies > L430 Public Policy
L Social studies > L120 Microeconomics
L Social studies > L110 Applied Economics
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:46211
Deposited On:06 Sep 2021 11:45

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