Dyson GSA Seminar: Erwin Knippenberg

Friday, September 15, 2017 at 11:30am to 1:00pm

Mann Library, 102
Cornell University Mann Library, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

This seminar will be on the topic: Resilience and the Dynamics of Food Insecurity: Evidence from Malawi


How should we measure resilience? Given how severe shocks disproportionally affect the poorest households, development practitioners are increasingly focused on boosting household and community resilience. In order to inform this agenda, the ’Measuring Indicators for Resilience Analysis’ (MIRA) project collected 12 months of high frequency shock data in Malawi for the purpose of resilience analysis. This unique data-set better captures well-being trajectories and is less vulnerable to potential recall bias. It can be used for three purposes: 1) Descriptive, outlining path dynamics and how they may differ by sub-group. 2) Inferential, allowing for impact evaluation, and 3) Predictive, identifying the future incidence of shocks. Positing an autoregressive model allows us to estimate continuous and discrete transition probabilities, which we explicitly link to the concepts of vulnerability and resilience. This allows us to describe the persistence of shocks and investigate potential resilience capacities. Using a Blundell-Bond model, we illustrate how a plausibly exogenous treatment variable could be used for the purpose of inference. Finally, we outline how to harness machine learning techniques for the purposes of prediction and targeting.

Event Type


Contact E-Mail


Contact Name

Anne Byrne


Erwin Knippenberg

Speaker Affiliation

Cornell University

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