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Spatial Disadvantages or Spatial Poverty Traps: Household Evidence from Rural Kenya

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  • Burke, William J.
  • Jayne, Thomas S.

Abstract

The goals of this study are: 1) to determine the relative importance of spatial factors in explaining household wealth; 2) to identify the spatial characteristics of the chronically poorest, the consistently well off, and households escaping from poverty as well as descending into poverty; 3) to determine effects of compound disadvantages on the likelihood of chronic poverty; and 4) to assess the evidence of spatial poverty traps (SPTs). Quantitative analysis is conducted using panel data collected from 1275 households, each surveyed four times with a structured questionnaire over an 11 year period from 1997 to 2007. We identified four distinct groups. The chronically poor are defined as households remaining consistently in the bottom third (tercile) of households ranked by wealth in each of the four survey years. Roughly 12.9% of the nationwide sample was found to be chronically poor. The consistently non-poor are defined as households consistently in the upper tercile of households ranked by wealth, and this group formed 16.2% of the total sample. The third and fourth groups were those households found to have risen from poverty (starting in the bottom tercile and ending in the top tercile, the ascending) and those who were in the top asset tercile in 1997 and fell to the bottom tercile by 2007 (the declining). Relatively few households in the sample were in either the upwardly mobile category (3.8%) or the downwardly mobile category (3.6%).

Suggested Citation

  • Burke, William J. & Jayne, Thomas S., 2008. "Spatial Disadvantages or Spatial Poverty Traps: Household Evidence from Rural Kenya," Food Security International Development Working Papers 54560, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:midiwp:54560
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/54560
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Barrett, Christopher B. & Swallow, Brent M., 2006. "Fractal poverty traps," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-15, January.
    2. Michael Carter & Christopher Barrett, 2006. "The economics of poverty traps and persistent poverty: An asset-based approach," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 178-199.
    3. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1997. "Poor areas, or only poor people?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1798, The World Bank.
    4. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Spatial poverty traps?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1862, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mather, David & Boughton, Duncan & Jayne, Thomas S., 2011. "Smallholder Heterogeneity and Maize Market Participation in Southern and Eastern Africa: Implications for Investment Strategies to Increase Marketed Food Staple Supply," Food Security International Development Working Papers 118473, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    2. Mather, David & Boughton, Duncan & Jayne, T.S., 2013. "Explaining smallholder maize marketing in southern and eastern Africa: The roles of market access, technology and household resource endowments," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 248-266.
    3. Suri, Tavneet & Tschirley, David L. & Irungu, Charity & Gitau, Raphael & Kariuki, Daniel, 2008. "Rural Incomes, Inequality and Poverty Dynamics in Kenya," Working Papers 202613, Egerton University, Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Africa; food security; Kenya; spatial; poverty; Food Security and Poverty; Q18;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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