Vulnerability to poverty in Fiji
In the extant literature either income or consumption expenditures as measured over short periods of time has been regarded as proxies for the material well-being of households. However, economists have long recognized that a household’s sense of well-being depends not just on its average income or expenditures, but also on the risks it faces. Hence vulnerability is a more satisfactory measure of welfare. In this paper we measure the extent of vulnerability as expected poverty, and examine the importance of its determinants, on the basis of a household survey for Fiji. We find that in Fiji, vulnerability (and poverty) is largely a rural phenomenon. Moreover, the distribution of vulnerability across different segments of the population can differ significantly from the distribution of poverty. In addition, there is a sizable fraction of the population Fiji observed to be non-poor but estimated to be vulnerable to poverty. Thus, poverty reduction strategies in Fiji need to incorporate not just alleviation efforts but also prevention.
Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
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