Skip to main content Accessibility help

Relationships between livestock grazing practices, disease risk, and antimicrobial use among East African Agropastoralists

  • Haseeb Ahmed (a1), Douglas R. Call (a2), Robert J. Quinlan (a3) and Jonathan K. Yoder (a1) (a2)


Livestock health is economically important for agropastoral households whose wealth is held partly as livestock. Households can invest in disease prevention and treatment, but livestock disease risk is also affected by grazing practices that result in inter-herd contact and disease transmission in regions with endemic communicable diseases. This paper examines the relationships between communal grazing and antimicrobial use in Maasai, Chagga and Arusha households in northern Tanzania. We develop a theoretical model of the economic connection between communal grazing, disease transmission risk, risk perceptions, and antimicrobial use, and derive testable hypotheses about these connections. Regression results suggest that history of disease and communal grazing are associated with higher subjective disease risk and greater antimicrobial use. We discuss the implications of these results in light of the potential for relatively high inter-herd disease transmission rates among communal grazers and potential contributions to antimicrobial resistance due to antimicrobial use.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author. Email:


Hide All
Agrawal, A (2001) Common property institutions and sustainable governance of resources. World Development 29(10), 16491672.
Ahamad, M (2016) Ex-post livestock diseases, and pastoralists’ averting decisions in Tanzania. Dissertations and Theses in Agricultural Economics, Paper 32. Available at
Althouse, BM, Bergstrom, TC and Bergstrom, CT (2010) A public choice framework for controlling transmissible and evolving diseases. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107(suppl. 1), 16961701.
Bohm, M, Hutchings, MR and White, PCL (2009) Contact networks in a wildlife-livestock host community: identifying high-risk individuals in the transmission of bovine TB among badgers and cattle. PLoS ONE 4(4), e5016.
Bollig, M (2006) Risk Management in a Hazardous Environment: A Comparative Study of Two Pastoralist Societies. New York: Spring Science.
Brito, DL, Sheshinski, E and Intriligator, MD (1991) Externalities and compulsory vaccinations. Journal of Public Economics 45(1), 6990.
Bronsvoort, BM, Nfon, C, Hamman, SM, Tanya, VN, Kitching, RP and Morgan, KL (2004) Risk factors for herdsman-reported foot-and-mouth disease in the Adamawa Province of Cameroon. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 66(1–4), 127139.
Cameron, AC and Trivedi, PK (1986) Econometric models based on count data: comparisons and applications of some estimators and tests. Journal of Applied Econometrics 1(1), 2953.
Carlet, J, Jarlier, V, Harbeth, S, Voss, A, Goossens, H and Pittet, D (2012) Ready for a world without antibiotics? Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 14(1), 11.
Carter, MR and Yao, Y (2002) Local versus global separability in agricultural household models: the factor price equalization effect of land transfer rights. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 84(3), 702715.
Caudell, MA, Quinlan, MB, Quinlan, RJ and Call, DR (2017a) Medical pluralism and livestock health: ethnomedical and biomedical veterinary knowledge among East African agropastoralists. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 13, 7.
Caudell, MA, Quinlan, MB, Subbiah, M, Call, DR, Roulette, CJ, Roulette, JW, Roth, A, Matthews, A and Quinlan, RJ (2017b) Antimicrobial use and veterinary care among agro-pastoralists in northern Tanzania. PLoS ONE 12(1), e0170328.
Ciriacy-Wantrup, SV and Bishop, RC (1975) Common property as a concept in natural resources policy. Natural Resources Journal 15, 713.
Clark, A (2013) Whatever next? Predictive brains, situated agents, and the future of cognitive science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36, 173.
Cole, S, Gine, X, Tobacman, J, Topalova, P, Townsend, R and Vickery, J (2013) Barriers to household risk management: evidence from India. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 5(1), 104135.
Coppolillo, PB (2000) The landscape ecology of pastoral herding: spatial analysis of land use and livestock production in East Africa. Human Ecology 28(4), 527560.
Courant, PN and Porter, RC (1981) Averting expenditure and the cost of pollution. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 8(4), 321329.
Crocker, TD, Forster, BA and Shogren, JF (1991) Valuing potential groundwater protection benefits. Water Resources Research 27, 16.
Davies, J and Hatfield, R (2007) The economics of mobile pastoralism: a global summary. Nomadic Peoples 11(1), 91116.
De Janvry, A, Fafchamps, M and Sadoulet, E (1991) Peasant household behaviour with missing markets: some paradoxes explained. The Economic Journal 101(409), 14001417.
Dickie, M and Gerking, S (1996) Formation of risk beliefs, joint production and willingness to pay to avoid skin cancer. The Review of Economics and Statistics 78(3), 451–63.
Greene, W (2011) Econometric Analysis, 7th edn., Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Gustafson, RH and Bowen, RE (1997) Antibiotic use in animal agriculture. Journal of Applied Microbiology 83(5), 531541.
Hennessy, DA, Roosen, J and Jensen, HH (2005) Infectious disease, productivity, and scale in open and closed animal production systems. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 87(4), 900917.
Hutchings, MR and Harris, S (1997) Effects of farm management practices on cattle grazing behavior and the potential for transmission of bovine tuberculosis from badgers to cattle. The Veterinary Journal 153(2), 149162.
Johnson, E, Hershey, J, Meszaros, J and Kunreuther, H (1993) Framing, probability distortions, and insurance decisions. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 7(1), 3551.
Kahneman, D, Knetsch, JL and Thaler, RH (1991) The endowment effect, loss aversion and status quo bias. The Journal of Economic Perspectives 5(1), 193206.
Keyyu, JD, Kassuku, AA, Msalilwa, LP, Monrad, J and Kyvsgaard, NC (2006) Cross-sectional prevalence of Helminth infections in cattle on traditional, small-scale and large-scale dairy farms in Iringa District, Tanzania. Veterinary Research Communications 30(1), 4555.
Kingston, W (2000) Antibiotics, invention and innovation. Research Policy 29(6), 679710.
Laximinarayan, R and Brown, GM (2001) The economics of antibiotic resistance: a theory of optimal use. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 42(2), 183206.
Lopez, RE (1986) Structural Models of the Farm Household that Allow for Interdependent Utility and Profit Maximization Decisions, in Agricultural Household Models: Extensions, Applications and Policy. Baltimore MD: The John Hopkins University Press.
Lybbert, TJ, Barrett, CB, Desta, S and Layne, Coppock D (2004) Stochastic wealth dynamics and risk management among a poor population. The Economic Journal 114, 750777.
Marsh, T, Yoder, J, Deboche, T, McElwain, T and Palmer, G (2016) Pastoralists’ decisions on livestock vaccination translate into increased human capital and increased school attendance by girls. Science Advances 2(12), e1601410.
McNamara, JM, Green, RF and Olsson, O (2006) Bayes theorem and its applications in animal behavior. Oikos 112, 243251.
Mittal, V and Ross, W (1998) The impact of positive and negative framing on issue interpretation and risk taking. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 76(3), 298324.
Mosites, EM, Rabinowitz, PM, Thumbi, SM, Montgomery, JM, Palmer, GH, Susanne, M, Rowhani-Rahbar, A, Marian, LN and Walson, JL (2015) The relationship between livestock ownership and child stunting in three countries in Eastern Africa using national survey data. PLoS ONE 10(9), e0136686.
Mullahey, J (1986) Specification and testing of some modified count data models. Journal of Econometrics 33, 341365.
Narrod, C, Zinsstag, J and Tiongco, M (2012) A one health framework for estimating the economic costs of zoonotic diseases on society. Ecohealth 9(2), 150162.
Nugent, JB and Sanchez, N (1993) Tribes chiefs and transhumance: a comparative institutional analysis. Economic Development and Cultural Change 42(1), 87113.
Ostrom, E (2015) Governing the Commons. The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
Page, SW and Gautier, P (2012) Use of antimicrobial agents in livestock. Revue Scientifique et Technique-OIE 31(1), 145.
Papke, LE and Woolridge, JM (1996) Econometric methods for fractional response variables with an application to 401(K) plan participation rates. Journal of Applied Econometrics 11, 619632.
Perry, BD, Grace, D and Sones, K (2013) Current drivers and future directions of global livestock disease dynamics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110(52), 2087120877.
Philipson, T (2000) Economic epidemiology and infectious diseases. In Culyer, A and Newhouse, J (eds). Handbook of Health Economics, vol. 1. Kidlington, Oxford, UK: Elsevier, pp. 17611799.
Pingali, PL and Carlson, GA (1985) Human capital, adjustment in subjective probabilities, and the demand for pest controls. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 64(4), 853861.
Pringle, HJ and Landsberg, J (2004) Predicting the distribution of livestock grazing pressure in rangelands. Austral Ecology 29(1), 3139.
Quinlan, R, Rumas, JI, Naisikye, G, Quinlan, MB and Yoder, J (2016) Searching for symbolic value of cattle: tropical livestock units, market price and cultural value of Maasai livestock. Ethnobiology Letters 7(1), 7686.
Rufael, T, Catley, A, Bogale, A, Sahle, M and Shiferaw, Y (2008) Foot and mouth disease in the Borana pastoral system, southern Ethiopia and implications for livelihoods and international trade. Tropical Animal Health Production 40, 2938.
Runge, CF (1981) Common property externalities: isolation, assurance, and resource depletion in a traditional grazing context. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 63(4), 595606.
Sanderson, MW, Dargatz, DA and Garry, FB (2000) Biosecurity practices of beef cow-calf producers. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 217(2), 185189.
Schoonman, L and Swai, ES (2010) Herd- and animal-level risk factors for bovine leptospirosis in Tanga region of Tanzania. Tropical Animal Health Production 42, 15651572.
Secchi, S and Babcock, BA (2002) Pearls before swine? Potential tradeoffs between human and animal use of antibiotics. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 84, 12791286.
Singh, I, Squire, L and Strauss, J (1986) Agricultural Household Models: Extensions, Applications and Policy. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.
Smith, K, Barrett, CB and Box, PW (2001) Not necessarily in the same boat: heterogeneous risk assessment among East African Pastoralists. Journal of Development Studies 37(5), 130.
Swallow, BM and Bromley DW, (1995) Institutions, governance and incentives in common property regimes for African rangelands. Environmental and Resource Economics 6(2), 99118.
Tversky, A and Kahneman, D (1973) Availability: a heuristic for judging frequency and probability. Cognitive Psychology 5(2), 207232.
Tversky, A and Kahneman, D (1991) Loss aversion in riskless choice – a reference-dependent model. The Quarterly Journal of Economics 106(4), 10391061.
Van Boeckel, TP, Brower, C, Gilbert, M, Grenfell, BT, Levin, SA, Robinson, TP, Teillant, A and Laxminarayan, R (2015) Global trends in antimicrobial use in food animals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(18), 56495654.
Vuong, Q (1989) Likelihood ratio tests for model selection and non-nested hypotheses. Econometrica 57, 307334.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Relationships between livestock grazing practices, disease risk, and antimicrobial use among East African Agropastoralists

  • Haseeb Ahmed (a1), Douglas R. Call (a2), Robert J. Quinlan (a3) and Jonathan K. Yoder (a1) (a2)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.