Environmental Shocks and Inequality: Evidence from Ethiopia

Brian C. Thiede, Cornell University

Research on the social and economic impacts of environmental change has proliferated in recent years. Studies have considered the effect of environmental change on poverty, migration, nutrition, and household productive activities. While this research has demonstrated that the social impacts of environmental change are heterogeneous across households, there is no systematic evidence about how such micro-level differences contribute to community-level outcomes. This study begins to fill this gap by examining the relationship between exposure to drought and asset inequality within rural Ethiopian communities. It draws upon data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and NASA’s Prediction of Worldwide Energy Resource (POWER) agroclimatology database to estimate the impact of drought on intra-community asset inequality. This paper presents these findings and discusses the methodological contributions of this study, as well as directions for future research.

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Presented in Poster Session 3