Global Poverty Research Group

Public policy and drought in Zimbabwe


This study examines the consequences of alternative public responses to drought shocks. It does so by drawing on household data from resettlement areas of rural Zimbabwe over the period 1992/93 to 1995/96 and the estimation of four behavioural relations: the determinants of crop income; the determinants of investment in livestock; the determinants of investment in agricultural capital stock; and the determinants of private transfers. This information is used to construct a series of simulations in which drought relief received in the aftermath of the 1994/95 - the ex post response - is made available to households in the form of agricultural capital stock and extension advice - an ex ante action. Doing so is found to raise household welfare in non-drought years, but provides only limited protection in the aftermath of drought.

Recent publications

Owens, T., J. Hoddinott and B. Kinsey, ‘Ex ante actions and ex post public responses to drought shocks: Evidence and simulations from Zimbabwe’, World Development, forthcoming 2003.

Owens, T., ‘External support during the transition phase: Roles for humanitarian aid and development assistance’, World Development, forthcoming 2003.

Reseachers to contact for this project

Trudy Owens