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Productivity to Reduce Poverty: Study of a Micro-Level Institution in Peru


  • Pierre-Olivier Pineau



A Peruvian community-based organization, a comedor popular (communal kitchen), is studied in this article to show how, as a micro-level institution, it fosters productivity in order to reduce poverty. The concepts of institutions, productivity and poverty are reviewed to establish a framework of analysis, where institutions are linked to productivity and poverty. This framework is applied to a comedor the author visited in 2001 and 2003. Through the diversity and intensity of the comedor’s activities and the practices it instills in women working there, productivity leads to key poverty reductions. The analysis illustrates how material well-being, psychological well-being, access to infrastructure and capacity to manage assets (the four dimensions of poverty) benefit from the various productivity improvements. The findings of this paper call for a better mix of poverty reduction strategies, where macro and micro institutions are used to fight the multidimensional problem of poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre-Olivier Pineau, 2004. "Productivity to Reduce Poverty: Study of a Micro-Level Institution in Peru," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 9, pages 62-75, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:sls:ipmsls:v:9:y:2004:6

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    More about this item


    Institutions; Micro Institutions; Poverty Reduction; Poverty; Productivity; Comedor; Comedor Popular; Communal Kitchen; Peru;

    JEL classification:

    • O54 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Latin America; Caribbean
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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