Informal "ganyu" labor supply, and food security: The case of Malawi

Isaac Sitienei, Ashok Mishra, Aditya R. Khanal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose - To determine the factors that motivate rural households to supply ganyu labor and to estimate its impact on food security. Methodology/approach - Data from the 2010/2011 Malawi household survey were used. A probit model to evaluate the determinants of ganyu labor supply and a propensity score-matching estimator to assess its impact on food security were used. Findings - Less educated males are more likely to supply ganyu labor. Ganyu labor supply increases with household size, while it decreases with the level of crop farming and size of land owned. Results from the average treatment effect indicate a positive and significant impact of ganyu labor participation on the number of meals consumed per day. Practical implications - Ganyu labor participants in Malawi have better access to food as a result of cash income from ganyu. Government support mechanisms such as minimum wage regulations should consider the welfare of ganyu labor participants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-175
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers of Economics and Globalization
StatePublished - 2016


  • Food security
  • Ganyu
  • Informal labor supply
  • Matching estimator
  • Off-farm income
  • Treatment Effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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