Food Security

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 239–253 | Cite as

Remittances and household nutrition: evidence from rural Kilimanjaro in Tanzania

  • Rosemary E. IsotoEmail author
  • David S. Kraybill
Original Paper


This paper examines the role of remittances in the livelihoods of households in developing countries. Previous studies have shown that remittances are mostly utilized for investment in estates, agricultural inputs or education; however, remittances may also be useful for smoothing consumption by poor rural households. Hence, we estimated the differences in consumption patterns for macronutrients and micronutrients between remittance recipients and non-recipients using data from Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. An instrumental variable strategy was adopted in econometric estimations of nutrient consumption to address issues of self-selection and endogeneity of net income and remittances. Furthermore, the instrumental variable quantile regression method was used to estimate the distributional effects of remittances. A major finding was that remittances increased investment in intake of nutrients such as proteins, vitamin A, vitamin C and calcium; these are nutrients that are vitally important for physical development of children and for improving the health of adults. Remittances did not have a significant effect on consumption of macronutrients such as carbohydrates and fats, or total calories.


Remittances Macronutrients Micronutrients Tanzania Sub-Saharan Africa Quantile regression 



The authors acknowledge the Kilimanjaro Livelihood and Climate Survey for providing the data used for this study. We thank the anonymous reviewers and the editor for their constructive comments to improve the quality of the paper. Any errors and omissions are the responsibility of the authors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Jaharis BuildingTufts UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development EconomicsOhio State UniversityColumbusUSA

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