Migration and Food Consumption Patterns in Ghana
Posted: 8 Jan 2019
Date Written: February 2011
This paper examines the link between migration and food consumption patterns in Ghana, which has a history of widespread migration and high levels of poverty. Data from 4130 households from the nationally representative 2005/2006 Ghana Living Standards Survey are used for the analysis. Since migrants self-select into migration, an instrumental variable approach is taken to analyze the relationship between migration and total food expenditures per capita, food expenditures across a range of food categories and shares of food expenditures across these categories. Overall, the results indicate that migration does not substantially affect total food expenditures per capita, and has minimal noticeable effect on food expenditure patterns. Looking at results in different settings, the analysis indicates that only in high migration regions does migration appear to increase overall food expenditures resulting in a shift towards the consumption of potentially less nutritious categories of food, such as sugar and beverages and eating out of the home. The results raise questions about the value of migration for improving the food consumption of migrant sending households.
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