IPAID

Institute for Poverty Alleviation and
International Development

Yonsei University

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Volume 5 Number 2 December 2014
The “Great Myanmar Poverty Debate”
Author_ Paul SHAFFER
Pages 1-42
Abstract_ There is a “micro-macro paradox” in poverty measurement. In a number of countries, declines in income or consumption poverty found in nationally representative household survey data are at odds with people’s perceptions of worsening poverty or deprivation more broadly. The objective of this article is to offer a number of potential explanations for this paradox and to present the case of Myanmar where many of these same issues have recently played out. It is argued that there are plausible explanations which reconcile, in part, apparently conflicting positions in Myanmar’s “Great Poverty Debate.”
Keywords_ Poverty, Measurement, Methods, Asia, Myanmar
 
Volume 5 Number 2 December 2014
Household Incomes and Poverty Dynamics in Rural Kenya: A Panel Data Analysis
Author_ Milu MUYANGA & Phillip MUSYOKA
Pages 43-76
Abstract_ This study uses both descriptive and econometric methods to analyze rural household income and poverty incidences over time and the drivers of welfare dynamics in rural Kenya. The analysis uses balanced panel data from 1,299 households in rural Kenya collected by Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, Egerton University. The results reveal considerable variation in regional welfare dynamics over time in rural Kenya, but with overall decreasing poverty levels between 2000 and 2007. Welfare dynamics are associated with demographic factors such as household dependency burden, and the gender and educational attainment of household heads. Households with high dependency ratios and those under single-female headship are more likely to to transition into poverty. These findings underscore the importance of post-secondary education, access to land, physical infrastructure, markets, and drought shocks for the welfare of rural households.
Keywords_ Poverty, Income Dynamics, Poverty Dynamics, Panel Data, Kenya
 
Volume 5 Number 2 December 2014
Inclusive Economic Growth in Nepal
Author_ Chandan SAPKOTA
Pages 77-116
Abstract_ Inclusive economic growth is one of the most prominent development agendas. However, a systematic evaluation of progress toward greater inclusivity in the developing countries, and the required strategic foci for the future, remain largely absent from debates in both the academic and policymaking spheres. This paper applies and complements the Asian Development Bank’s inclusive economic growth framework by including an intra-country analysis, and in particular, the convergence and divergence across a range of relevant indicators among consumption quintiles in Nepal. It finds three stark disparities: (i) Nepal’s GDP growth and per capita growth remain the lowest in South Asia; (ii) the slow growth rate has failed to create adequate job opportunities, resulting in large-scale out-migration of workers from all consumption quintiles; and (iii) despite the overall inclusive pattern of growth over the last decade, there remains large disparities in the reach and utilization of social services and economic opportunities among the poorest quintiles. In addition, the pattern of growth could be made more inclusive by creating new opportunities and ensuring that the existing ones are shared more proportionately with the bottom quintiles.
Keywords_ Inclusive Growth, Nepal, Poverty, Employment, Social Protection, Governance
 
Volume 5 Number 2 December 2014
If Finance Works, Microfinance Works: Contextual Evaluation and the Irrelevance of Randomized Controlled Trials
Author_ Salim RASHID
Pages 117-144
Abstract_ The choice to highlight microfinance as a primary means of poverty alleviation in the Millennium Development Goals should have brought clarity to the role and functioning of this widely used instrument. Instead, it seems to have generated a fog. It is time to take a fresh look and start from first principles to clear the air. Microfinance is micro finance―it is finance writ small. If finance works, microfinance works. Much of the confusion surrounding microfinance is due to it being treated as a new economic phenomenon. With the Bangladeshi case in mind, this article poses a series of specific questions about the research field. It argues that many interesting and constructive questions have been missing from the agenda. And rather than bringing clarity, the current focus on randomized controlled trials is merely serving to distract.
Keywords_ Microfinance, Microcredit, Grameen Bank, Poverty, Randomized Controlled Trials, RCT, Bangladesh
 
Volume 5 Number 2 December 2014
Agricultural Employment, Wages and Poverty in Developing Countries
Author_ Katsushi IMAI, Raghav GAIHA & Constanza DI NUCCI
Pages 145-185
Abstract_ Drawing upon panel data estimations, we have analyzed relationships between agricultural productivity, employment, technology, openness of the economy, inequality in land distribution and poverty. First, we have identified a number of important factors affecting agricultural productivity, such as agricultural R&D expenditure, irrigation, fertilizer use, agricultural tractor/machinery use, reduction in inequality of land distribution, and reduction in gender inequality. Second, while agricultural wage rates are negatively associated with agricultural productivity and food price in terms of levels, rising agricultural wage rates are positively correlated with growth in agricultural land and/or labor productivity as well as with growth in food prices, particularly after 2000. Contrary to the International Labor Organization’s 2012 claim of a widened gap between wage and labor productivity, this finding suggests a narrowing gap once the conditional relationship between the two is taken into account. Third, agricultural employment per hectare tends to increase agricultural productivity after taking account of the endogeneity of the former, while growth in agricultural employment per hectare tends to increase growth in non-agricultural employment over time with adjustment for the endogeneity of the former. Fourth, both agricultural growth and non-agricultural growth tend to lead to a reduction in overall inequality. Finally, increases in agricultural productivity (which is treated as endogenous) will reduce poverty significantly through contributing to overall economic growth. Overall, policies to increase agricultural productivity and agricultural employment are likely to increase non-agricultural growth, overall growth and reduce poverty. The presence of institutional frameworks to promote greater equality between men and women is likely to be one of the key factors, consistent with the important role of women in promoting agricultural productivity in developing countries.
Keywords_ Agriculture, Poverty, Employment, Wage
 
 
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IPAID

Institute for Poverty Alleviation and International Development (IPAID) at Yonsei University

1, Yonseidae-gil, Wonju-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea

강원도 원주시 연세대길1 연세대학교 원주캠퍼스 정의관 316호 빈곤문제국제개발연구원

Phone: +82-33-760-2534, 760-2577, 760-2554, 760-2527  |  Fax: +82-33-760-2572  |  E-mail: ipaid@yonsei.ac.kr

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