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Vulnerability to Poverty in select Central Asian Countries

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  • Raghbendra Jha
  • Tu Dang

Abstract

In the extant literature either income or consumption expenditures as measured over short periods of time have been regarded as a proxy for the material well-being of households. However, economists have long recognized that a household's sense of well-being depends not just on its average income or expenditures, but also on the risks it faces and its ability to deal with these risks. Hence vulnerability is a more satisfactory measure of welfare. In this study we used the concept of vulnerability as expected poverty to assess the household vulnerability to poverty in four Central Asian countries: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Except for Tajikistan, headcount poverty and vulnerability rates are significantly different. We also find that vulnerability differs significantly across households by location and selected household characteristics. In this paper we use a simple empirical measurement that allows estimating the headcount vulnerability to poverty using cross-section data. This measurement is based on the strong assumption that households have the same conditional distribution of consumption in a stationary environment. While this approach cannot capture all dimensions of vulnerability, it at least begins to raise the policy issue that vulnerability should be considered alongside poverty.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Cattaneo University (LIUC) in its journal The European Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (June)
Pages: 17-50

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Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:6:y:2009:i:1:p:17-50

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Keywords: Poverty ; Vulnerability ; Cross-section data ; Central Asia;

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  1. Robert Holzmann & Steen Jørgensen, 2001. "Social Risk Management: A New Conceptual Framework for Social Protection, and Beyond," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 529-556, August.
  2. Pasquale Scaramozzino, 2006. "Measuring Vulnerability to Food Insecurity," Working Papers, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA) 06-12, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
  3. Holzmann, Robert & Jorgensen, Steen, 1999. "Social protection as social risk management : conceptual underpinnings for the social protection sector strategy paper," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20119, The World Bank.
  4. Luc J. Christiaensen & Kalanidhi Subbarao, 2005. "Towards an Understanding of Household Vulnerability in Rural Kenya," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 14(4), pages 520-558, December.
  5. Ligon, Ethan & Schechter, Laura, 2004. "Evaluating different approaches to estimating vulnerability," Social Protection Discussion Papers 30159, The World Bank.
  6. Christian Keller & Peter S. Heller, 2001. "Social Sector Reform in Transition Countries," IMF Working Papers, International Monetary Fund 01/35, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Ligon, Ethan & Laura Schechter, 2002. "Measuring Vulnerability," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002, Royal Economic Society 128, Royal Economic Society.
  8. Christiaensen, Luc J.M. & Boisvert, Richard N., 2000. "On Measuring Household Food Vulnerability: Case Evidence from Northern Mali," Working Papers, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management 127676, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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Cited by:
  1. Manoj K. Pandey, 2013. "Elderly's Health Shocks and Household's Ex-ante Poverty in India," ASARC Working Papers, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre 2013-01, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  2. Hardeweg, Bernd & Wagener, Andreas & Waibel, Hermann, 2013. "A distributional approach to comparing vulnerability, applied to rural provinces in Thailand and Vietnam," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 53-65.
  3. Mohiburrahman Iqbal, 2013. "Vulnerability to expected poverty in Afghanistan," ASARC Working Papers, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre 2013-14, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
  4. Brück, Tilman & Esenaliev, Damir & Kroeger, Antje & Kudebayeva, Alma & Mirkasimov, Bakhrom & Steiner, Susan, 2012. "Household Survey Data for Research on Well-Being and Behavior in Central Asia," IZA Discussion Papers 7055, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Emiliano Magrini & Pierluigi Montalbano, 2012. "Trade openness and vulnerability to poverty: Vietnam in the long-run (1992-2008)," Working Paper Series 3512, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

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