Socioeconomic and geospatial determinants of households’ food and non-food consumption dynamics within the West African Economic and Monetary Union
This article explores the cross-sectional properties of household's food and non-food consumption expenditures conceptualized as inter-dependent spatial random processes within the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). To this end, the paper applies spatio-temporal econometric methods to data extracted from the first edition of the Harmonized Survey on Household Living Conditions (EHCVM, 2018/2019). The findings from the unconditional distribution of household economic wellbeing (measured by nominal per-capita food and non-food expenditures) using the inequality indicators of the Atkinson and Gini coefficients, suggest the presence of cross-sectional inequalities in household food and non-food wellness within WAEMU. However, food wellness inequality appeared lower than that of non-food wellness across the 8 countries. In addition, the economic security analysis, based on the indices of Watts, Sen, and Foster (aplha=1), highlight important spatial heterogeneity in household's vulnerability to poverty within-and-between WAEMU country members. Moreover, estimation of the semiparametric bivariate Gaussian copula model of food and non-food consumption expenditures, shows their significant dependence with household's demographic and geospatial characteristics, as well as the economic and health characteristics of the household head. Indeed, among other key findings, a gender based gradient in household's food and non-food wellness at respectively 3.6 and 4.4% is observed in favor of male headed households; along with an Urban/Rural divide in food and non-food wellness at 20.7% and 27.3%, respectively, in favor of urban households. Therefore, in line with goals 1, 2, 4, 5, 9 and 10 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, the paper provides key insights for evidence based policy making within WAEMU.