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Rural Non-agriculture Employment and Poverty in Pakistan

Author

Listed:
  • G. M. Arif

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

  • Hina Nazli

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

  • Rashida Haq

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

Abstract

There is ample evidence that poverty, which declined rapidly in Pakistan in the 1980s, has returned in the 1990s [Amjad and Kemal (1997); Ali and Tahir (1999); Jafri (1999); Qureshi and Arif (2001)]. Consequently large number of Pakistanis, more than one-third of the total population, live currently far below what can reasonably be regarded as a decent standard of living. Poverty has generally been higher in rural areas than in urban areas. This gap could not be bridged overtime; still the greatest degree of poverty is found in the countryside. To address rural poverty, policy-makers have long been looking to the growth potential of the farm sector of the rural economy. Non-agricultural activities in rural areas have received little attention. This neglect, however, may be socially costly. It has been shown in several recent empirical studies that nonfarm activities occupy an important place in rural economies throughout the developing world [Hazell and Haggblade (1993); Adams and He (1995); Bakht (1996); Sen (1996); Lanjouw (1999)]. They expand quite rapidly in response to agriculture development, and therefore merit special attention in the design of strategies concerning poverty alleviation in rural areas. The rural nonfarm sector in Pakistan, like many in other developing countries, is a heterogeneous sector covering a wide spectrum of activities. The pursuit of this diversification leads one to explore the potentials of the whole range of nonfarm activities. There is a considerable body of literature on poverty in Pakistan. This literature, however, has largely ignored the importance of nonfarm sector in poverty alleviation. Only few recent studies, based on relatively small sample size, have examined linkages between rural nonfarm sector and poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • G. M. Arif & Hina Nazli & Rashida Haq, 2000. "Rural Non-agriculture Employment and Poverty in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 39(4), pages 1089-1110.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:39:y:2000:i:4:p:1089-1110
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mahmud , Wahiduddin, 1996. "Employment Patterns and Income Formation in Rural Bangladesh: The Role of Rural Non-farm Sector," Bangladesh Development Studies, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), vol. 24(3-4), pages 1-27, Sept-Dec.
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