Designing strategies and policies that will alleviate poverty and improve household food security and nutritional well being is one of the most important challenges facing government policymakers in developing countries. The choice of strategies and policies depends in large part on understanding the dynamics of poverty, especially the mechanisms by which households acquire and spend income and cope with cries such as poor harvest or loss of employment. This work by Harold Alderman and Marito Gracia represents IFPRI's first comprehensive analysis of the longitudinal data on 800 households collected between 1986 and 1989 in Pakistan. This unique data set enables researchers to examine the temporal dimensions of food security, income and labor dynamics, consumption and saving dynamics, nutrition and health progress, and many other issues that cannot be adequately addressed using cross-sectional data. The report of a wide-ranging series of studies focuses on Pakistan. It is the rural component of a Food Security Management Project jointly undertaken by IFPRI, the government of Pakistan, and the U.S Agency for international Development (USAID) Mission in Pakistan. An IFPRI field office, based at the Ministry of Agriculture in Islamabad since 1986, indicates IFPRI's long-term commitment to this program. This report represents the microanalysis part program, while earlier IFPRI studies, including Effects of Exchange Rate and Trade Policies on Agriculture in Parkistan, Research Report 84, and The Demand for Public Storage of Wheat in Pakistan, Research Report 77, have tackled macroeconomic issues facing food security. Other studies in human capital accumulation, agricultural credit, water management, agricultural production, and nonfarm linkage are under way. The research was carried out in collaboration with the major economic research institutes in Pakistan: the Punjab Economic Research Institute in Labore, the Applied Economic Research Centre of the University Of Peshawar, the Department of Social Welfare at the University of Baluchistan, and the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in Islambad. The USAID Mission in Pakistan had provided sustained support to this research program.