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Well-Being Dynamics and Poverty Traps

Listed author(s):
  • Christopher B. Barrett

    ()

    (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853)

  • Teevrat Garg

    ()

    (Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment, London School of Economics, London, WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom
    School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093)

  • Linden McBride

    ()

    (Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853)

A sound understanding of poverty traps—defined as poverty that is self-reinforcing due to the poor's equilibrium behaviors—and their underlying mechanisms is fundamentally important to the development of policies and interventions targeted to assist the poor. We review the theoretical and empirical evidence on single equilibrium and multiple equilibria poverty traps at the macro-, meso-, and, especially, microlevels. In addition we review the literature exploring the various mechanisms that have been posited to perpetuate poverty. We find sufficient evidence to support the poverty traps hypothesis, suggesting that policies designed to interrupt those self-perpetuating mechanisms merit serious attention.

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File URL: http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/10.1146/annurev-resource-100815-095235
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Article provided by Annual Reviews in its journal Annual Review of Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 8 (2016)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 303-327

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Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:8:y:2016:p:303-327
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  1. Lori Beaman & Jeremy Magruder, 2012. "Who Gets the Job Referral? Evidence from a Social Networks Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3574-3593, December.
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  8. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-298, January.
  9. Ray, Debraj & Streufert, Peter A, 1993. "Dynamic Equilibria with Unemployment Due to Undernourishment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(1), pages 61-85, January.
  10. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  11. John Hoddinott, 2006. "Shocks and their consequences across and within households in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 301-321.
  12. Santos, Paulo & Barrett, Christopher B., 2011. "Persistent poverty and informal credit," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 337-347, November.
  13. Christopher B. Barrett & Peter Arcese, 1998. "Wildlife Harvest in Integrated Conservation and Development Projects: Linking Harvest to Household Demand, Agricultural Production, and Environmental Shocks in the Serengeti," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(4), pages 449-465.
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