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Environment and Development Economics ; 28(3):211-229, 2023.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-20238415


Insights on the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are critical for designing and implementing policies to alleviate the food security burden it may have caused, and for bolstering rural communities against similar macroeconomic shocks in the future. Yet estimating the causal effects of the pandemic is difficult due to its ubiquitous nature and entanglement with other shocks. In this descriptive study, we combine high-resolution satellite imagery to control for plot-level rainfall with household socio-economic panel data from 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2020, to differentiate the effect of the pandemic from climatic shocks on food security in Morogoro, Tanzania. We find evidence of decreased incomes, increased prices of staple foods, and increased food insecurity in 2020 relative to previous years, and link these changes to the pandemic by asking households about their perceptions of COVID-19. Respondents overwhelmingly attribute economic hardships to the pandemic, with perceived impacts differing by asset level.