Milk in the Data: Food Security Impacts from a Livestock Field Experiment in Zambia

Margaret Jodlowski, Alex Winter-Nelson, Kathy Baylis, Peter D. Goldsmith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Smallholder livestock ownership has potential to enhance food security by raising incomes of the poor and by increasing the availability of nutrient-dense foods. This paper exploits the staggered rollout of livestock distribution by Heifer International in Zambia to identify the effects of livestock using statistically similar treatment and control groups in a balanced panel of households. Results indicate that livestock ownership improves dietary diversity through both direct consumption of animal products produced on farm and through increased consumption expenditures. Further results indicate that expanded livestock ownership alters the local food economy to influence food consumption by households lacking farm animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-114
Number of pages16
JournalWorld Development
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Asset transfers
  • Dietary diversity
  • Food security
  • Livestock
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Zambia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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