Empirically based analysis of households coping with unexpected shocks in the central Himalayas

Lea Ravnkilde Møller, Carsten Smith-Hall*, Henrik Meilby, Santosh Rayamajhi, Lise Byskov Herslund, Helle Overgaard Larsen, Øystein Juul Nielsen, Anja Byg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Climate change may significantly impact the large number of households in developing countries depending on agricultural production, not least through changes in the frequency and/or magnitude of climatic hazards resulting in household income shocks. This paper analyses rural households’ responses to past experiences of and future expectations to substantial and unexpected negative and positive agricultural income shocks. Empirical data is derived from an environmentally-augmented structured household (n = 112) survey in the high mountains of central Nepal. Multinomial logit regression, using data on rural household demographics, assets (agricultural land, livestock), value of other assets such as furniture, bicycles, and agricultural implements, and income sources showed that household coping choices are determined by opportunities to generate cash. We argue that public policies should enhance the ability of rural household to generate cash income, including through environmental products.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClimate and Development
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)597-606
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Coping
  • livelihoods
  • Nepal
  • vulnerability

Cite this

Møller, L. R., Smith-Hall, C., Meilby, H., Rayamajhi, S., Herslund, L. B., Larsen, H. O., Nielsen, Ø. J., & Byg, A. (2019). Empirically based analysis of households coping with unexpected shocks in the central Himalayas. Climate and Development, 11(7), 597-606. https://doi.org/10.1080/17565529.2018.1518812