Can rural outmigration improve household food security? Empirical evidence from Ethiopia

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Food insecurity in Ethiopia is a persistent development challenge. In this paper, we investigate the effects of rural outmigration on indicators of household food security in Ethiopia. The empirical data come from a two-year panel data collected from three regions of the country. To control for the potential endogeneity of migration and migration selection bias, our estimation uses a combination of a difference-in-difference (DID) model and an inverse-probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) approach (IPTW-DID). We find that, on average, rural outmigration has significantly improved the amount of daily calories consumed per adult equivalent by around 22%. Our estimation results also show that outmigration has significantly reduced food poverty gap and severity of food poverty by seven and four percentage points, respectively.

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