Abstract

Using novel micro data we explore the lifecycle profiles of consumption and expenditure in Sub-Saharan Africa. Adult-equivalent expenditure shows a hump over the lifecycle that is twice larger in urban areas than in rural areas. In contrast to expenditure, consumption (measured in caloric intake) remains relatively stable across ages in both rural and urban areas, including in old age. Interestingly, consumption in old age is sustained by the increasing role of self-farmed food over the lifecycle, as opposed to traditional savings mechanisms. The specialization in self-farmed staple food leads to a nutritional loss.