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Rural Non-agriculture Employment and Poverty in Pakistan

  • 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.)

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.

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File URL: http://www.pide.org.pk/pdf/PDR/2000/Volume4/1089-1110.pdf
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Article provided by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics in its journal The Pakistan Development Review.

Volume (Year): 39 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 1089-1110

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Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:39:y:2000:i:4:p:1089-1110
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  1. Lanjouw, Peter, 1999. "Rural Nonagricultural Employment and Poverty in Ecuador," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(1), pages 91-122, October.
  2. G.M. Arif & M. Irfan, 1997. "Return Migration and Occupational Change: The Case of Pakistani Migrants Returned from the Middle East," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 1-37.
  3. Lanjouw, Jean O. & Lanjouw, Peter, 1995. "Rural nonfarm employment : a survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1463, The World Bank.
  4. Hans De Kruijk, 1987. "Sources of Income Inequality in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 26(4), pages 659-672.
  5. Rashid Amjad & A.R. Kemal, 1997. "Macroeconomic Policies and their Impact on Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 39-68.
  6. Zafar Mueen Nasir, 2001. "Poverty and Labour Market Linkages in Pakistan," MIMAP Technical Paper Series 2001:07, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  7. Mohammad, Irfan & Amjad, Rashid, 1994. "Poverty in rural Pakistan," MPRA Paper 38335, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Haggblade, Steven & Hazell, Peter B. & Brown, James, 1988. "Farm-nonfarm linkages in rural sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6, The World Bank.
  9. Adams, Richard H. Jr. & He, Jane J., 1995. "Sources of income inequality and poverty in rural Pakistan:," Research reports 102, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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