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Why Has Poverty Increased in Zimbabwe?

Author

Listed:
  • Jeffrey Alwang
  • Bradford F. Mills
  • Nelson Taruvinga

Abstract

Poverty in Zimbabwe increased significantly during the 1990s, and it increased in all sectors of the economy. In the middle of the decade, more than 60 percent of Zimbabwean households fell below the national poverty line. There are competing reasons for this: some say it was the result of the government instituting the Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP), and others say that ESAP's effectiveness was hampered by recurring drought. This document sheds light on the sources of the increase in Zimbabwean poverty, with the use of non-parametric, and parametric statistical methods. These techniques support the conclusion that the drought, though harmful, does not entirely explain the increase in poverty. The deteriorating economic environment, reducing the returns to both human, and physical assets, also had profound effects on household well-being. What are the prospects for improvement in the near future? Only serious structural changes to the economy can create labor market conditions, conducive to long-term, broad-based growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey Alwang & Bradford F. Mills & Nelson Taruvinga, 2002. "Why Has Poverty Increased in Zimbabwe?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14060, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:14060
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2004. "Drivers of Sustainable Rural Growth and Poverty Reduction in Central America : Guatemala Case Study, Volume 2. Background Papers and Technical Appendices," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14559, The World Bank.
    2. Rizwana Siddiqui, 2008. "Income, Public Social Services, and Capability Development : A Cross-district Analysis of Pakistan," Development Economics Working Papers 22221, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    3. Siegel, Paul B., 2005. "Using an asset-based approach to identify drivers of sustainable rural growth and poverty reduction in Central America : a conceptual framework," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3475, The World Bank.
    4. Siddiqui, Rizwana, 2007. "The role of household income and public provision of social services in satisfaction of basic needs in Pakistan: A cross district analysis," MPRA Paper 4409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Akinnifesi, Festus & Waibel, Hermann & Mithöfer, Dagmar, 2006. "The role of food from natural resources in reducing vulnerability to poverty: a case study from Zimbabwe," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2006 28, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    6. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2003. "Progress Toward the Millennium Development Goals in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 23-52, January.
    7. World Bank, 2004. "Drivers of Sustainable Rural Growth and Poverty Reduction in Central America : Guatemala Case Study, Volume 1. Executive Summary and Main Text," World Bank Other Operational Studies 14560, The World Bank.
    8. Luc Christiaensen & Lionel Demery & Stefano Paternostro, 2002. "Growth, Distribution, and Poverty in Africa : Messages from the 1990s," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15215, June.
    9. Masakure, Oliver & Henson, Spencer, 2005. "Why do small-scale producers choose to produce under contract? Lessons from nontraditional vegetable exports from Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1721-1733, October.
    10. Christiaensen, Luc & Demery, Lionel & Paternostro, Stefano, 2003. "Reforms, Remoteness and Risk in Africa: Understanding Inequality and Poverty during the 1990s," WIDER Working Paper Series 070, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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