Food Prices and Child Marriage: Evidence from Ethiopia

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Bischof, Monika
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University of Guelph

This study investigates the effect of coffee and maize prices separately on the the probability of child marriage in Ethiopia. The empirical results indicate that households implement child marriage as a means to cope with the livelihood and food security stress that follows changing food prices. Higher maize prices increase the probability of child marriage in Ethiopia and coffee price displays no significant effect. The main results and the influence of maize and coffee prices on child marriage is more pronounced in regions where coffee and maize is most intensively cultivated. The girls living in these coffee (maize) regions of Ethiopia are more vulnerable to child marriage when coffee (maize) prices drop (rise) compared to their counterparts. This study is the first to uncover food prices as a push factor to child marriage and the amplifying interaction of regional crop cultivation and prices on child marriage in Ethiopia.

Food price, Food security, Child marriage