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Who became poor, who escaped poverty, and why? Developing and using a retrospective methodology in five countries


  • Anirudh Krishna

    (Associate Professor, Public Policy and Political Science, Duke University)


The Stages-of-Progress methodology helps identify context-specific reasons associated with households' movements into or out of poverty. Developed in 2002, it was used over the next seven years for examining the experiences of 35,567 households in 398 diverse communities of India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, and North Carolina. This essay looks at the reasons that motivated the development of a different methodology for exploring poverty flows, explores the steps involved, and briefly presents key results. Large numbers of households have fallen into poverty in every context examined, but large numbers have also become persistently poor. Different reasons are associated, respectively, with escaping poverty and falling into poverty. Different policies are, therefore, required to deal with each of the two poverty flows. © 2010 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Anirudh Krishna, 2010. "Who became poor, who escaped poverty, and why? Developing and using a retrospective methodology in five countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 351-372.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:351-372 DOI: 10.1002/pam.20495

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richard V. Burkhauser, 2009. "Deconstructing European poverty measures: What relative and absolute scales measure," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 715-725.
    2. Bob Baulch & John Hoddinott, 2000. "Economic mobility and poverty dynamics in developing countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 1-24.
    3. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2007. "The Economic Lives of the Poor," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 141-168, Winter.
    4. Patti Kristjanson & Nelson Mango & Anirudh Krishna & Maren Radeny & Nancy Johnson, 2010. "Understanding poverty dynamics in Kenya," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 978-996.
    5. Hulme, David & Shepherd, Andrew, 2003. "Conceptualizing Chronic Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 403-423, March.
    6. Ann Huff Stevens, 1999. "Climbing out of Poverty, Falling Back in: Measuring the Persistence of Poverty Over Multiple Spells," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 557-588.
    7. Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 2000. "Is transient poverty different? Evidence for rural China," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 82-99.
    8. Anirudh Krishna & Mahesh Kapila & Mahendra Porwal & Virpal Singh, 2005. "Why growth is not enough: Household poverty dynamics in Northeast Gujarat, India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(7), pages 1163-1192.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luis Carvalho & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2011. "Where are the poor in International Economics?," FEP Working Papers 425, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    2. Shaffer, Paul, 2013. "Ten Years of “Q-Squared”: Implications for Understanding and Explaining Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 269-285.
    3. Walelign, Solomon Zena & Charlery, Lindy & Smith-Hall, Carsten & Chhetri, Bir Bahadur Khanal & Larsen, Helle Overgaard, 2016. "Environmental income improves household-level poverty assessments and dynamics," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 23-35.
    4. repec:eee:wdevel:v:97:y:2017:i:c:p:266-278 is not listed on IDEAS

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