Education's effect on food and monetary security in Burkina Faso: A joint semi-parametric and spatial analysis
Though adversely impacted by the recent COVID-19 crisis, households' consumption of food and non-food items are essential components of well-being worldwide. Against this background, the present analysis tests human capital theory predictions by assessing the resilience effect of formal education vis-a-vis food and financial insecurity in Burkina Faso. This is achieved using data on 10,411 households, extracted from the latest available wave of the Burkina Faso's National Survey on Households Living Conditions, along with geospatial meta-data and semi-parametric modeling techniques. The findings reveal that relaxing the linearity and independence assumptions provides a more robust representation of the systemic and inter-dependent relationship that exists between education, food and monetary security. In fact, education is found to increase the joint likelihood of food and monetary security in the country. Specifically, compared to households headed by individuals with no education, those headed by primary, secondary or higher educated individuals are 19.8%, 49.7% and 1.189 times, respectively, more likely to experience food security, and 40.1%, 77% and 1.723 times , respectively, more likely to come out of poverty. Therefore, easing access to formal education ought to be part of the solution mix sitting squarely at the poverty / food insecurity nexus, for a sustainable future beyond the pandemic. This is indeed supported by the high positive correlation of 0.927 between the incidence of food and monetary security, which suggests that coordinated efforts in those sectors will have much greater development's returns than isolated initiatives.