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The Economics Of Poverty And The Poverty Of Economics: A Christian Perspective

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  • Barrett, Christopher B.

Abstract

In this world of plenty, almost half of the world's six billion people live on two dollars a day or less and the number living on less than one dollar a day has increased over the past fifteen years (World Bank 2000). Between one third and one half suffer under nutrition due to insufficient intake of calories, protein or critical micronutrients such as vitamin A, iodine and iron. More than one child in five lives in acute poverty. Why does such unnecessary injustice continue to disfigure a rich, technologically advanced world and what can be done to care for the poor and thereby to care for and honor God, as the Gospels instruct us? In attempting to answer those questions, at least partly, this paper offers some insights from recent research in economics, as well as my concerns about the limits to economic understanding of these humanitarian, intellectual and spiritual challenges.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management in its series Working Papers with number 14747.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ags:cudawp:14747

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Keywords: Food Security and Poverty; O1; I1; A1;

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  1. Azariadis, Costas & Drazen, Allan, 1990. "Threshold Externalities in Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 501-26, May.
  2. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  3. Kanbur, Ravi, . "Economics, Social Science and Development," Working Papers 127666, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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  5. David I. Levine & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2002. "Choosing the right parents: changes in the intergenerational transmission of inequality between 1980 and the early 1990s," Working Paper Series WP-02-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Barrett, Christopher B. & Bezuneh, Mesfin & Clay, Daniel C. & Reardon, Thomas, 2001. "Heterogeneous Contraints, Incentives, and Income Diversification Strategies in Rural Africa," Working Papers 179567, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  7. Pramila Krishnan & Stefan Dercon, 1995. "Income portfolios in rural Ethiopia and Tanzania: choices and constraints," CSAE Working Paper Series 1995-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2001. "Earnings mobility in the US: a new look at intergenerational inequality," Working Paper Series WP-01-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Moser, Christine M. & Barrett, Christopher B., 2003. "The disappointing adoption dynamics of a yield-increasing, low external-input technology: the case of SRI in Madagascar," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 1085-1100, June.
  10. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  11. Travis J. Lybbert & Christopher B. Barrett & Solomon Desta & D. Layne Coppock, 2004. "Stochastic wealth dynamics and risk management among a poor population," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 750-777, October.
  12. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  13. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1994. "Poverty, Incentives, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 211-15, May.
  14. Sen, Amaryta, 1999. "On Ethics and Economics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195627619, October.
  15. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
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