Assets, Shocks, and Poverty Traps in Rural Mozambique
This paper explores welfare dynamics among households in rural Mozambique. Using household panel data, we test whether an asset-based poverty trap exists. Findings indicate that all rural households converge to one stable equilibrium in the medium term, which is close to the poverty line. This may indicate that households in rural Mozambique are collectively trapped in generalized underdevelopment. A drought and household coping strategies help to explain the observed poverty dynamics. Food-insecure households who have better access to income-generating opportunities and who can afford drawing on unproductive assets are able to sustain their productive asset base in the short term.
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