Rural Poverty, Risk and Development

Rural Poverty, Risk and Development

Marcel Fafchamps

This book investigates the relationships between rural poverty, risk, and development. Building upon the author’s work in the area, it summarises the contributions of recent theoretical and empirical work to our understanding of how risk affects rural poverty levels in developing countries. In particular the book examines what we do and do not know about risk coping strategies among today’s poor rural societies. Ways in which these strategies may be re-examined and improved by governments and international organisations are proposed.

Preface

Marcel Fafchamps

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, development economics

Extract

The purpose of this book is to discuss the relationships between rural poverty, risk and development. The focus is primarily conceptual, although numerous references to econometric evidence are provided throughout the book. The reason is that a proper understanding of risk and its relationship with poverty and growth are difficult to achieve given the complexity of the topic when much insurance is provided by informal channels. A special emphasis is put on informal risk coping institutions. This book is the outcome of more than ten years of personal research on these issues, both on the theory and empirical side. The book is organized as much as possible as a coherent and articulated coverage of the current literature. Although the material presented here aims to be a fair reflection of current thinking, the treatment of the material and the choice of emphasis largely reflect my personal views. The primary audience for this book is academic researchers and policy makers interested in development issues, principally those interested in social insurance, banking, and credit. The book can also be used as a teaching tool for advanced undergraduates or graduate students in economic development. There exist other volumes dedicated to risk and development, most notably the early volume by Roumasset (1976), the edited volume by Roumasset et al. (1979), the well documented book by Dasgupta (1993) devoted to destitution and the 2000 World Bank Development Report devoted to poverty (The World Bank 2000). There are also a number of literature reviews...