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Entrepreneurship contributes to household foodsecurity and welfare in Malawi

Author(s): 
Henry Kankwanda
Theme: 
Youth jobs, skills and entrepreneurship

This study assessed the heterogeneous impacts of entrepreneurship onfood security in Malawi using modern growth theory that incorporatesendogenous entrepreneurship assumptions. Using representative LivingStandards Measurement Surveys’ panel data collected in 2010, 2013 and2016, the study isolates direct causal effects using propensity score andnovel quantile regression techniques that adjust for sample selection biasas a specification error. Results generally indicate that entrepreneurshipis lower but has been steadily increasing over the survey periods. Themechanisms driving entry into entrepreneurship were demographic fac-tors such as education, marital status and household size. Results alsoindicate that entrepreneurship has positive impacts on the value, varietyand quantity of food consumed. Further, results indicate that the poorestquantiles benefit from entrepreneurship the most as compared to otherquantiles. Of note, overall impacts were above 50% across all quantilesof income. The household specific and heterogeneous impacts imply thatinvesting in entrepreneurship is not only a good strategy for economicdevelopment but is also a pro-poor policy strategy.