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Micro-level determinants of poverty reduction in Sri Lanka: a multivariate approach


  • Indunil De Silva


Purpose - The main purpose of this paper is to construct a poverty profile for Sri Lanka, and examine the micro-level determinants and correlates of poverty. Design/methodology/approach - The study is based on the latest Sri Lanka Integrated Survey commissioned by the World Bank. The unconditional poverty profile was constructed using three different poverty measures (poverty headcount, average poverty gap and squared poverty gap), nested in the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke index. The conditional poverty profile was constructed on the basis of a multivariate analysis of poverty correlates. Partial correlates of poverty are computed using two comparable methodologies. First, a logistic regression was estimated, with the probability of a household being in poverty as the dependent variable and a set of economic and demographic variables as correlates. Second, the quantile regression approach was utilized to examine the correlates of per capita consumption at different points on the distribution. Findings - The empirical findings are broadly encouraging. The estimation results show that the education of the household head, being salary employed and being engaged in business have a significant positive effect on the standard of living. The probability of being poor increases with the household size, household head being female, living in a rural area, and being a casual wage earner. These findings indicate the importance of a set of policies which are super pro-poor, namely increasing school enrolment and achievement, effective family planning programs to reduce the birth rate and dependency load within households, and granting priorities for specific cohorts (children-, elderly-, rural- and female-headed households) in targeted interventions. Originality/value - This is the first study that examines the probable determinants and correlates of Sri Lankan poverty in a multivariate framework employing both logit and quantile regressions.

Suggested Citation

  • Indunil De Silva, 2008. "Micro-level determinants of poverty reduction in Sri Lanka: a multivariate approach," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 140-158, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:35:y:2008:i:3:p:140-158

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    Cited by:

    1. Wu, Alfred M. & Ramesh, M., 2014. "Poverty Reduction in Urban China: The Impact of Cash Transfers," MPRA Paper 54358, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bodrun Nahar & Mahinda Siriwardana, 2013. "Trade Opening, Fiscal Reforms, Poverty, and Inequality: A CGE Analysis for Bangladesh," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 51(2), pages 145-185, June.
    3. Ranathunga, Seetha P.B., 2010. "The determinants of household poverty in Sri Lanka: 2006/2007," MPRA Paper 34174, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 20 Oct 2010.
    4. Chenhong Peng & Lue Fang & Julia Shu-Huah Wang & Yik Wa Law & Yi Zhang & Paul S. F. Yip, 2019. "Determinants of Poverty and Their Variation Across the Poverty Spectrum: Evidence from Hong Kong, a High-Income Society with a High Poverty Level," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 219-250, July.
    5. Dartanto, Teguh & Otsubo, Shigeru, 2013. "Measurements and Determinants of Multifaceted Poverty:Absolute, Relative, and Subjective Poverty in Indonesia," Working Papers 54, JICA Research Institute.

    More about this item


    Poverty; Regression analysis; Sri Lanka;


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