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Multilevel Geographies of Poverty in India

Listed author(s):
  • Kim, Rockli
  • Mohanty, Sanjay K.
  • Subramanian, S.V.
Registered author(s):

    Since the economic reforms in India in 1991, there has been a proliferation of studies examining trends of economic development and poverty across the country. To date, studies have used single-level analyses with aggregated data either at the state level or, less commonly, at the region and district levels. This is the first comprehensive and empirical quantification of the relative importance of multiple geographic levels in shaping poverty distribution in India. We used multilevel logistic models to partition variation in poverty by levels of states, regions, districts, villages, and households. We also mapped the residuals at the state, region and district levels to visualize the geography of poverty. We used data on 35 states, 88 regions, 623 districts, 25,390 villages and 202,250 households from the National Sample Survey in years 2009–10 and 2011–12. Our study found that geography of poverty in India cannot be fully explained by clustered distribution of poor households, and that there may be important contextual factors operating at the state and village levels. We found 13% of the variation in poverty to be attributable to states, 12% to villages, 4% to districts and 3% to regions, after accounting for important household characteristics. Similar variance partitioning was observed for rural and urban sample. The relative importance of one contextual level was highly sensitive to other levels simultaneously considered in the model. Findings from this study suggest that further explorations using multilevel modeling are warranted to identify specific contextual determinants of poverty at the state and village levels to reduce poverty and promote balanced regional development in India.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X15309669
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 87 (2016)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 349-359

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:87:y:2016:i:c:p:349-359
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.07.001
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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    1. Anurag Narayan Banerjee & Nilanjan Banik & Jyoti Prasad Mukhopadhyay, 2015. "The Dynamics of Income Growth and Poverty: Evidence from Districts in India," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 33(3), pages 293-312, 05.
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    7. Bharadwaj, Prashant & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Mian, Atif, 2008. "The Big March: Migratory Flows after the Partition of India," Working Paper Series rwp08-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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    9. Kapur Mehta, Aasha & Shah, Amita, 2003. "Chronic Poverty in India: Incidence, Causes and Policies," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 491-511, March.
    10. Michelle Baddeley & Kirsty McNay & Robert Cassen, 2006. "Divergence in India: Income differentials at the state level, 1970-97," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 1000-1022.
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