Food Security

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 1033–1054 | Cite as

Household resilience to food insecurity: evidence from Tanzania and Uganda

  • Marco d’ErricoEmail author
  • Donato Romano
  • Rebecca Pietrelli
Original Paper


Resilience—the capacity that ensures adverse stressors and shocks do not have long-lasting adverse consequences—has become a key topic in both scholarly and policy debates. More recently some international organizations have proposed the use of resilience to analyze food and nutrition security. The objective of the paper is twofold: (i) analyze what the determinants of household resilience to food insecurity are and (ii) assess the role played by household resilience capacity on food security outcomes. The dataset employed in the analysis is a panel of three waves of household surveys recently collected in Tanzania and Uganda. First, we estimated the FAO’s Resilience Capacity Index (RCI), combining factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Then probit models were estimated to test whether the resilience is positively related to future food security outcomes and recovery capacity after a shock occurs. In both countries, the most important dimension contributing to household resilience was adaptive capacity, which in turn depended on the level of education and on the proportion of income earners to total household members. Furthermore, household resilience was significantly and positively related to future household food security status. Finally, households featuring a higher resilience capacity index were better equipped to absorb and adapt to shocks.


Resilience Food security Structural equation model Panel data 

JEL classification

D10 Q18 I32 O55 



The authors acknowledge collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute for the creation of the climatic dataset employed in the paper. They also thank the participants of the 5th Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA) Congress (University of Bologna, June 16-17, 2016) and the 90th Annual Conference of the Agricultural Economics Society (Warwick University, April 16–17, 2016) for the stimulating discussion on the Working paper version of this paper. The authors also thank the editor and two anonymous referees for very helpful comments that significantly contributed to improving the final version of the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. and International Society for Plant Pathology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Food and Agricultural Organization of the United NationsRomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze per l’Economia e l’ImpresaFlorenceItaly

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