Food Security

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 703–718 | Cite as

Nonfarm employment and household food security: evidence from panel data for rural Cambodia

  • Truong Lam DoEmail author
  • Trung Thanh Nguyen
  • Ulrike Grote
Original Paper


Nonfarm employment has been increasingly important in improving food security of rural households in the developing world. In this paper, we (1) determine the factors explaining the participation in nonfarm employment and nonfarm income of rural households by employing a two-part random effects econometric model, and (2) examine the effects of nonfarm employment on rural household food security indicators by combining the propensity score matching with the difference-in-differences approach. We used a panel dataset of 561 households in 30 villages of Stung Treng province in Cambodia collected in 2013 and 2014. Our sample was divided into two groups, households with nonfarm employment, and households without nonfarm employment. Our findings show that (1) nonfarm employment contributed about 32% to total annual household income for the whole sample and 57% for the households with nonfarm employment; (2) participation in nonfarm employment and nonfarm income were significantly influenced by the education level of household heads, numbers of motorbikes and mobile phones, conditions of roads to the villages, farmland size, number of income shocks, and the distance from home to the nearest market; (3) there was no significant difference in terms of food availability between households with and households without nonfarm employment but the former have improved food access, utilization, and stability. We suggest that promoting rural education, improving road conditions, and empowering rural households to cope with income shocks would contribute to developing nonfarm employment and consequently improve food security of rural households.


Nonfarm employment Impact assessment Propensity score matching Difference-in-differences Two-part random effects model Cambodia 



We thank the farmers in Stung Treng for their support and cooperation. Support from the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI) and our colleagues at the Leibniz University Hannover for data collection is highly appreciated. This paper is based on two discussion papers highlighting some first descriptive results of the survey in Cambodia (Bühler et al. 2015; Sharma et al. 2016). We would also like to thank the editor and the reviewers for their constructive comments, which have improved the article.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

We hereby declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding our submitted manuscript entitled “Nonfarm Employment and Household Food Security: Evidence from Panel Data for Rural Cambodia” for publication in Food Security.

Supplementary material

12571_2019_929_MOESM1_ESM.docx (71 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 71 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Society for Plant Pathology and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Planning and Investment, Faculty of Economics and Rural DevelopmentVietnam National University of AgricultureHanoiVietnam
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental Economics and World TradeLeibniz University HannoverHannoverGermany

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