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Who avoids and who escapes from poverty during transition? - evidence from Polish panel data, 1993-96


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  • Okrasa, Wlodzimierz


The author uses four-year panel data from Poland's Household Budget Survey to explore the distinction between transitory and long-term poverty, a crucial distinction in designing and evaluating poverty reduction strategies. The author analyzes household welfare trajectories during the period 1993-96, to identify the long-term poor and to determine how relevant household asset endowments are as determinants of household poverty and vulnerability over time. He concludes that the chronically poor constitute a distinct and separate segments of the population, with low turnover. Among specific observations about factors that affect Poland's long-term poverty: 1) Variables in human capital significantly affected the pattern of repeated poverty and vulnerability. Larger households tended to experience poverty and vulnerability, mostly because they contained more children or other dependents. Households with elderly members and those headed by older people, by women rather than men, and by educated people of either gender were least likely to be poor. Poverty was unaffectedby the presence of a disabled person in the household. 2) Households with liquid assets or durables, or with access to financial resources, were less likely to be poor and vulnerable. Households appeared to take advantage of credit and loans to maintain their current level of consumption rather than to augment their stock of assets. 3) Households that were part of kinship networks were less at risk of falling into chronic poverty or vulnerability. 4) Household headed by pensioners were least in danger of impoverishment. Those most in danger were farm households (including"mixed"households headed by workers with an agricultural holding) and households heavily dependent on social welfare. 5) Household of employees were better off than self-employed households when income-based measures of poverty were used, but not when consumption-based measures were used. Neither groups was significantly vulnerable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2218.

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Date of creation: 30 Nov 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2218

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Keywords: Services&Transfers to Poor; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Conditions and Volatility; Public Health Promotion; Health Economics&Finance; Poverty Assessment; Environmental Economics&Policies; Safety Nets and Transfers; Rural Poverty Reduction; Services&Transfers to Poor;


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  1. Diamond, Charles A. & Simon, Curtis J. & Warner, John T., 1990. "A multinomial probability model of size income distribution," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 43-61.
  2. Keane, Michael & Prasad, Eswar, 1998. "Consumption and Income Inequality in Poland During the Economic Transition," Working Papers, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University 98-38, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Atkinson,Anthony Barnes & Micklewright,John, 1992. "Economic Transformation in Eastern Europe and the Distribution of Income," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521433297.
  4. Glewwe, P. & Hall, G., 1995. "Who is Most Vulnerable to Macroeconomic Shocks? Hypotheses Tests Using Panel Data from Peru," Papers, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement 117, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  5. Kolodko, G-W & Nuti, D-M, 1997. "The Polish Alternative. Old Myths, Hard Facts and New Strategies in the Successful Transformation of the Polish Economy," Research Paper, World Institute for Development Economics Research 33, World Institute for Development Economics Research.
  6. Duncan, Greg J, et al, 1993. "Poverty Dynamics in Eight Countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 215-34.
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Cited by:
  1. Lawson, David & McKay, Andrew & Okidi, John A., 2004. "Poverty Persistence and Transitions in Uganda: A Combined Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis," Development Economics and Public Policy Working Papers, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) 30555, University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM).
  2. Mendola, Daria & Busetta, Annalisa & Aassve, Arnstein, 2008. "Poverty permanence among European youth," ISER Working Paper Series 2008-04, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  3. Lucia Mangiavacchi & Paolo Verme, 2009. "Evaluating Pro-poor Transfers When Targeting is Weak: The Albanian Ndihma Ekonomike Program Revisited," Working Papers - Economics wp2009_08.rdf, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Scienze per l'Economia e l'Impresa.
  4. Verme, Paolo, 2008. "Social assistance and poverty reduction in Moldova, 2001-2004 an impact evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4658, The World Bank.
  5. Keane, Michael & Prasad, Eswar, 2001. "Social Transfers and Inequality During the Polish Transition," MPRA Paper 54326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Keane, Michael & Prasad, Eswar, 2001. "A Political Economy Perspective on Redistribution and Growth in Transition," MPRA Paper 54289, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. G. M. Arif & Nasir Iqbal & Shujaat Farooq, 2011. "The Persistence and Transition of Rural Poverty in Pakistan: 1998-2004," PIDE-Working Papers, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics 2011:74, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.


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