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Vulnerability and livelihoods before and after the Haiti earthquake

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  • Echevin, Damien

Abstract

This paper examines the dynamics of poverty and vulnerability in Haiti using various data sets. As living conditions survey data are not comparable in this country, we first propose to use the three rounds of the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) available before the earthquake. Decomposing household assets changes into age and cohort effects, we use repeated cross-section data to identify and estimate the variance of shocks on assets and to simulate the probability of being poor in the future. Poverty and vulnerability profiles are drawn from these estimates. Second, we decompose vulnerability to poverty into various sources using a unique survey conducted in 2007 in rural areas. Using two-level modelling of consumption/income, we assess the impact of both observable and unobservable idiosyncratic and covariate shocks on households'economic well-being. Empirical findings show that idiosyncratic shocks, in particular health-related shocks, have larger impact on vulnerability to poverty than covariate shocks. Third, asset-wealth is characterized for households after the 2010 earthquake based on a survey designed to provide a rapid assessment of food insecurity in Haiti after the quake. Whereas it is not possible to confirm the existence of poverty trap, it seems that those households who have lost the most due to the earthquake succeeded in recovering more rapidly from the shock, regardless of the effects of assistance, and probably more in line with coping strategies that are specific to households.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5850.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5850

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Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Regional Economic Development; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Services&Transfers to Poor;

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References

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  1. Harold Alderman & John Hoddinott & Bill Kinsey, 2006. "Long term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 450-474, July.
  2. Stefan Dercon, 1996. "Wealth, risk and activity choices: cattle in Western Tanzania," CSAE Working Paper Series 1996-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  3. Fafchamps, Marcel & Udry, Christopher & Czukas, Katherine, 1998. "Drought and saving in West Africa: are livestock a buffer stock?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 273-305, April.
  4. World Bank, 2007. "Social Resilience and State Fragility in Haiti," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6836, August.
  5. Frederic Zimmerman & MICHAEL R. CARTER, . "Asset Smoothing, Consumption Smoothing and the Reproduction for Inequality under Risk and Subsistence Constraints," Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Staff Papers, Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department 402, Wisconsin-Madison Agricultural and Applied Economics Department.
  6. Günther, Isabel & Harttgen, Kenneth, 2009. "Estimating Households Vulnerability to Idiosyncratic and Covariate Shocks: A Novel Method Applied in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1222-1234, July.
  7. Datt, Gaurav & Hoogeveen, Hans, 2000. "El Nino or El Peso? Crisis, poverty, and income distribution in the Philippines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2466, The World Bank.
  8. Pritchett, Lant & Suryahadi, Asep & Sumarto, Sudarno, 2000. "Quantifying vulnerability to poverty - a proposed measure, applied to Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2437, The World Bank.
  9. Stifel, David & Christiaensen, Luc, 2006. "Tracking poverty over time in the absence of comparable consumption data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3810, The World Bank.
  10. Booysen, Frikkie & van der Berg, Servaas & Burger, Ronelle & Maltitz, Michael von & Rand, Gideon du, 2008. "Using an Asset Index to Assess Trends in Poverty in Seven Sub-Saharan African Countries," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1113-1130, June.
  11. Kazianga, Harounan & Udry, Christopher, 2006. "Consumption smoothing? Livestock, insurance and drought in rural Burkina Faso," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 413-446, April.
  12. Echevin, Damien, 2011. "Characterizing poverty and vulnerability in rural Haiti: a multilevel decomposition approach," MPRA Paper 35659, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Echevin, Damien, 2011. "Vulnerability to asset-poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 35660, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Echevin, Damien, 2011. "Livelihoods and the allocation of emergency assistance after the Haiti earthquake," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5851, The World Bank.
  15. John Hoddinott, 2006. "Shocks and their consequences across and within households in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 301-321.
  16. Alessandro Tarozzi & Angus Deaton, 2009. "Using Census and Survey Data to Estimate Poverty and Inequality for Small Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 773-792, November.
  17. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
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