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Poverty Dynamics and Vulnerability: Empirical Evidence from Smallholders in Northern Highlands of Ethiopia


  • Tsehay, Abrham Seyoum
  • Bauer, Siegfried


This study is primarily intended to examine the dynamics and determinants of rural household poverty and vulnerability in Northern Highlands of Ethiopia. The data for this research is mainly based on the Ethiopian Household Survey (ERHS). Results from disaggregation of the poor indicate that ultra poverty is predominant in the area. Similarly, using a three steps feasible generalized least squares (FGLS) we found that many of the households in the region are vulnerable to poverty. However, the trend has been found to vary across villages for both poverty and vulnerability measures. Besides, poverty decomposition of sample households showed that chronic poverty is dominant while transient poverty is secondary. An implication of this is that programs targeting on poverty should primarily focus on factors causing persistence deprivation without undermining risk factors that drag households in to poverty. Finally, some of the important determining factors of observed poverty appear to impact on vulnerability to poverty differently. Therefore, strategies aimed at reducing poverty should critically consider factors that make households vulnerable to poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Tsehay, Abrham Seyoum & Bauer, Siegfried, 2012. "Poverty Dynamics and Vulnerability: Empirical Evidence from Smallholders in Northern Highlands of Ethiopia," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126873, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:126873

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Neil McCulloch & Bob Baulch, 2000. "Simulating the impact of policy upon chronic and transitory poverty in rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 100-130.
    2. Liverpool, Lenis Saweda O. & Winter-Nelson, Alex, 2010. "Asset versus consumption poverty and poverty dynamics in the presence of multiple equilibria in rural Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 971, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Booysen, Frikkie & van der Berg, Servaas & Burger, Ronelle & Maltitz, Michael von & Rand, Gideon du, 2008. "Using an Asset Index to Assess Trends in Poverty in Seven Sub-Saharan African Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1113-1130, June.
    4. Andrea Brandolini & Silvia Magri & Timothy M. Smeeding, 2010. "Asset-based measurement of poverty," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 267-284.
    5. Raghbendra JHA & Tu DANG & Krishna Lal SHARMA, 2009. "Vulnerability to poverty in Fiji," International Journal of Applied Econometrics and Quantitative Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 9(1).
    6. Islam, Nizamul & Shimeles, Abebe, 2007. "Poverty dynamics in Ethiopia: state dependence," Working Papers in Economics 260, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    7. Arne Bigsten & Abebe Shimeles, 2011. "The persistence of urban poverty in Ethiopia: a tale of two measurements," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(9), pages 835-839.
    8. Joan R. Rodgers & John L. Rodgers, 1993. "Chronic Poverty in the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(1), pages 25-54.
    9. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 1998. "Changes in Poverty in Rural Ethiopia 1989-1995: Measurement, Robustness Tests and Decomposition," Working Papers Department of Economics ces9819, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    10. Romina Cavatassi & Benjamin Davis & Leslie Lipper, 2004. "Estimating Poverty Over Time and Space: Construction of a time-variant poverty index for Costa Rica," Working Papers 04-21, Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO - ESA).
    11. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2000. "Poverty Comparisons Over Time and Across Countries in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2123-2155, December.
    12. Glewwe, Paul & Hall, Gillette, 1998. "Are some groups more vulnerable to macroeconomic shocks than others? Hypothesis tests based on panel data from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 181-206, June.
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    More about this item


    Poverty Dynamics; Vulnerability; Rural Ethiopia; Community/Rural/Urban Development; Food Security and Poverty; I32;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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