An analysis using weekly financial household data

This research assesses how low-income households in rural Kenya coped with the immediate economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. It uses granular financial data from weekly household interviews covering six weeks before the first case was detected in Kenya to five weeks after, during which various containment measures were implemented. Based on household-level fixed-effects regressions, our results suggest that income from work decreased with almost one-third and income from gifts and remittances reduced by more than one-third after the start of the pandemic. Nevertheless, household expenditures on food remained at pre-COVID levels. We do not find evidence that households coped with reduced income through increased borrowing, selling assets or withdrawing savings. Instead, they gave out less gifts and remittances themselves, lent less money to others and postponed loan repayments. Moreover, they significantly reduced expenditures on schooling and transportation, in line with the school closures and travel restrictions. Thus, despite their affected livelihoods, households managed to keep food expenditures at par, but this came at the cost of reduced informal risk-sharing and social support between households.

Download the full publication using the button on the right.

This publication was authored by Wendy Janssens, Menno Pradhan, Richard de Groot, Estelle Sidze, Hermann Donfouet, and Amanuel Abajobir in partnership with the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD). It was originally published in the World Development Journal. The paper can be accessed here via science direct or here via the Financial Diaries website.

 

Connected themes
Downloads
  • The short-term economic effects of COVID-19 on low-income households in rural Kenya: An analysis using weekly financial household data Download report
Share this post

Related items

The Effects of a Universal Basic Income During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya

The results suggest that that cash helped hard-hit households weather a storm, but that Universal Basic Income was not enough to shield households completely from the economic hit, in part because it had induced them to increase their risk exposure.

+4
By Abhijit Banerjee +4 more
Kenya and Uganda country case studies: equity in COVID-19 mitigation and policy response

Factsheet on ‘Kenya and Uganda country case studies: equity in COVID-19 mitigation and policy response‘, as part of INCLUDE research programme ‘Equity in COVID-19‘.

Rapid evidence during COVID-19: results from the RECOVR survey in Ghana

The deep interconnection between livelihoods, social protection, and food and wellbeing security must be considered more explicitly in forming policies for recovery and longer term resilience.

Food security versus disease risk: how Africa is dealing with this policy conundrum

How current policy trends and practices will affect socioeconomic inequalities (both between and within countries), and what can be done to support the poorest and most vulnerable.