Explaining Growth in Household Real Food Consumption Expenditure in Cameroon: 2001-2007

Ebenezer L Wirba, Boniface N Epo, Francis M Baye


This study attempts to explain growth in household real food consumption expenditure in Cameroon between 2001 and 2007. Specifically, it assesses the relative importance of household real total expenditure in explaining household real food consumption expenditure; evaluates the direction of change of the marginal propensity to consume between the two periods, and investigates the role of access to endowments and returns to endowments in explaining growth in household real food consumption spending. To achieve these objectives, use is made of a micro-econometric analysis of household real food consumption functions, a Shapley-Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition of growth in household consumption spending and the 2001 and 2007 Cameroon household consumption surveys. Results show that the marginal propensity to consume declined significantly between 2001 and 2007; real total spending predominantly explains real food consumption spending and its growth; and returns to endowments overwhelmingly account for the negative growth in real food consumption spending. These results show that well-being marginally improved between 2001 and 2007. These findings are important and have implications for household buffering food crisis in rural household and developing mechanisms to fight against issues related to food insecurity in Cameroon.

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