Why Poverty Persists

Why Poverty Persists

Poverty Dynamics in Asia and Africa

Edited by Bob Baulch

This edited book analyses what traps people in chronic poverty, and what allows them to escape from it, using long-term panel surveys from six Asian and African countries. The distinguishing feature of these studies, which were commissioned by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, is they span longer periods or have more survey waves than most developing country panels. This allows a detailed account of the maintainers of chronic poverty and drivers of poverty dynamics. Many of the studies (from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa and Vietnam) are written by leading development economists, and all pay careful attention to the difficult issues of attrition, measurement error and tracking. The book’s comparative perspective highlights the common factors which cause people to fall into chronic poverty and allow them to break-free from it. A number of promising policies and interventions for reducing chronic poverty are identified.

Chapter 5: Poverty Dynamics in Rural Sindh, Pakistan, 1987–88 to 2004–05

Hari Ram Lohano

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


Hari Ram Lohano INTRODUCTION Pakistan has a high and rising incidence of rural poverty. Most poverty research in Pakistan has focused on cross section surveys and has a static conception of poverty. Empirical evidence about transitions and determinants of change in poverty is scarce. The country lacks panel data sets to examine poverty dynamics and analyse who are the poorest groups in the rural economy, what explains their poverty, and how it might change between two time periods. This paper contributes to the literature on poverty dynamics in rural Pakistan by analysing a longitudinal resurvey of households in rural Sindh, Pakistan, which spans the period from 1987–88 to 2004–05. The main questions addressed in the paper are: 1) what is the nature of poverty among the panel households, and who are the poorest among different agricultural groups in the sample; 2) what factors help panel households to escape poverty, what traps them in poverty, and what makes households fall into poverty; and 3) what are the main determinants of change in poverty between the two surveys? The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 provides the country background and an overview of the poverty debate in Pakistan since the 1990s. This is followed by a description of the key features of the original survey used for the study and protocols used for the resurvey of longitudinal households. This section also explains efforts taken to maintain comparability between the two surveys. Section 4 addresses the issue of sampling attrition....

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