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El Nino or El Peso? Crisis, Poverty and Income Distribution in the Philippines

  • Datt, Gaurav
  • Hoogeveen, Hans

Using household survey data for 1998, the authors assess the distributional impact of the recent economic crisis in the Philippines. The results suggest that the impact of the crisis was modest, leading to a five percent reduction in average living standards, and a nine percent increase in the incidence of poverty - with larger increases indicated for the depth, and severity of poverty. The greater shock came from El Nino, rather than through the labor market. The labor market shock was progressive (reducing inequality) while El Nino shock was regressive (increasing inequality). Not all households were equally vulnerable to the crisis-induced shocks. Household and community characteristics affected the impact of the shocks. Ownership of land, made households more susceptible to the El Nino shocks, higher levels of education made households more vulnerable to wage, and employment shocks. The impact of the crisis was greater in more commercially developed communities. Occupational diversity within a household helped mitigate the adverse impact. There is some evidence of consumption smoothing by the households affected by the crisis, but the poor were less able to protect their consumption, which is a matter of policy concern.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
Issue (Month): 7 (July)
Pages: 1103-1124

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:31:y:2003:i:7:p:1103-1124
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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  1. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics," Working Papers 780, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Arsenio M. Balisacan, 2001. "Poverty in the Philippines : An Update and Reexamination," Philippine Review of Economics, University of the Philippines School of Economics and Philippine Economic Society, vol. 38(1), pages 15-52, June.
  3. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Asep Suryahadi & Sudarno Sumarto & Lant Pritchett, 2003. "Evolution of Poverty During the Crisis in Indonesia," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 221-241, 09.
  6. Kathleen Beegle & Elizabeth Frankenberg & Duncan Thomas, 1999. "Measuring Change in Indonesia," Working Papers 99-07, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  7. Orbeta, Aniceto Jr. C. & Manasan, Rosario G. & de Guzman, Generoso & Reyes, Celia M., 1999. "Social Impact of the Regional Financial Crisis in the Philippines," Discussion Papers DP 1999-14, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
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