Individual and Family Behavior in Poor Households
: Evidence from Semi-Arid Burkina Faso

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Economics and Business Management

Abstract

Agrarian rural populations in developing countries are most often exposed to a variety of uncovered shocks - climatic, illness or other income-related shocks - susceptible to jeopardize their livelihoods and to disrupt their internal organizations. Moreover, the high seasonality of their activities tends to exacerbate the resulting fluctuations in consumption. This uncertain and seasonal environment impinges upon the availability of and the access to food, and makes both vulnerable subsistence households and individuals especially susceptible to the risk of hunger. In a context of increasing decentralization of the management of this risk to communities, households and individuals, a proper assessment of the static determinants and the dynamic processes underlying poverty and food insecurity is welcomed. This research project conducted in rural Northern Burkina Faso precisely intends to study mechanisms susceptible to affect the vulnerability of poor rural households and individuals subject to frequent income-related shocks. How to overcome pervasive market imperfections in remote areas? How poor rural populations adjust to individual risks in this context? What is the role of women in family disruptive processes? These are some of the issues addressed by the three papers that composed the PhD dissertation. They appear as of primary importance for many rural populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and this work contributes to a better understanding of individual and family behavior for populations that are living in highly remote areas and that are still organized into large farming households relying mainly on rainfed agriculture.
Date of Award12 Mar 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SponsorsARC (Actions de recherche concentrées), Université de Namur & Commission Européenne - fp7
SupervisorCATHERINE GUIRKINGER (Supervisor), Jean-Philippe PLATTEAU (Supervisor), Jean-Marie BALAND (President), GUILHEM CASSAN (Jury), Marijke Verpoorten (Jury) & Zaki Wahhaj (Jury)

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