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Prices and poverty in urban Ethiopia

  • Gebremedhin, Tesfaye A.
  • Whelan, Stephen

Poverty is an ongoing issue in Ethiopia. The identification of policy options to address the problem primarily requires that poverty be measured accurately. One of the most important ingredients in the measurement of poverty are prices. The magnitude of poverty is affected by how cost of living differences across time and regions are adjusted. This paper derives a set of price indices for Urban Ethiopia using data from four urban household surveys conducted in 1994, 1995, 1997, and 2000. The results show that the cities of Dire Dawa and Mekelle are the two most expensive cities, while Jimma and Bahir Dar are the least expensive. The findings also confirm that poverty is indeed high in urban Ethiopia with poverty head count of over 40 percent. Poverty estimates derived using country level consumer price indexes, which do not adjust for spatial cost of living differences, are misleading. But using poverty lines as deflators to account for price differences does not affect the poverty estimates obtained.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/137920
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Paper provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its series 2005 Conference (49th), February 9-11, 2005, Coff's Harbour, Australia with number 137920.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aare05:137920
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  1. Hentschel, J. & Lanjouw, P., 1996. "Constructing an Indicator of Consumption for the Analysis of Poverty. Principles and Illustrations with Reference to Ecuador," Papers 127, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
  2. Ravallion, Martin & Bidani, Benu, 1993. "How robust is a poverty profile?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1223, The World Bank.
  3. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 2000. "Vulnerability, seasonality and poverty in Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 25-53.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 1999. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates For Welfare Analysis," Working Papers 217, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  6. Kakwani, Nanak, 1993. "Statistical Inference in the Measurement of Poverty," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(4), pages 632-39, November.
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