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Why the poor in rural Malawi are where they are: An Analysis of the Spatial Determinants of the Local Prevalence of Poverty

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  • Benson, Todd
  • Chamberlin, Jordan
  • Rhinehart, Ingrid

Abstract

"We examine the spatial determinants of the prevalence of poverty for small spatially defined populations in rural Malawi. Poverty prevalence was estimated using a small-area poverty estimation technique. A theoretical approach based on the risk chain conceptualization of household economic vulnerability guided our selection of a set of potential risk and coping strategies — the determinants of our model — that could be represented spatially. These were used in two analyses to develop global and local models, respectively. In our global model—a spatial error model — only eight of the more than two dozen determinants selected for analysis proved significant. In contrast, all of the determinants considered were significant in at least some of the local models of poverty prevalence. The local models were developed using geographically weighted regression. Moreover, these models provided strong evidence of the spatial nonstationarity of the relationship between poverty and its determinants. That is, in determining the level of poverty in rural communities, where one is located in Malawi matters. This result for poverty reduction efforts in rural Malawi implies that such efforts should be designed for and targeted at the district and subdistrict levels. A national, relatively inflexible approach to poverty reduction is unlikely to enjoy broad success." Authors' Abstract

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series FCND discussion papers with number 198.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcnddp:198

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Keywords: Spatial analysis (Statistics) ; Poverty mapping ; Spatial regression ; Poverty determinants ;

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  1. Elbers, Chris & Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 2004. "Imputed welfare estimates in regression analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3294, The World Bank.
  2. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101.
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  7. Haddad, Lawrence James & Adato, Michelle, 2001. "How effectively do public works programs transfer benefits to the poor?," FCND briefs 108, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Hoddinott, John & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2003. "Methods for microeconometric risk and vulnerability assessments," Social Protection Discussion Papers 29138, The World Bank.
  9. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  10. Jolliffe, Dean, 2002. "Whose Education Matters in the Determination of Household Income? Evidence from a Developing Country," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(2), pages 287-312, January.
  11. Chris Elbers & Jean Lanjouw, 2000. "Welfare in Village and Towns: Micro-Measurement of Poverty and Inequality," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 00-029/2, Tinbergen Institute.
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Cited by:
  1. Kristjanson, Patricia & Radeny, Maren & Baltenweck, Isabelle & Ogutu, Joseph & Notenbaert, An, 2005. "Livelihood mapping and poverty correlates at a meso-level in Kenya," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5-6), pages 568-583.

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