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Transient seasonal and chronic poverty of peasants: Evidence from Rwanda

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  • Christophe Muller

Abstract

Using panel data from Rwanda, we estimate seasonal transient and chronic poverty indices, for different poverty lines, poverty indicators, equivalence scales, and with and without corrections for price variability and for the sampling scheme. We also estimate sampling standard errors for the poverty indices. The worst poverty crises occur after the dry season at the end of the year. Most of the severity of poverty comes from the seasonal transient component of annual poverty, while the seasonal component of the incidence of poverty is much smaller. Thus the actual differences in the severity of poverty, either between developing and industrial countries or between rural and urban areas in LDCs, may be much worse than is shown by the usual chronic annual poverty measures or by measures of seasonal incidence of poverty. The importance of the transient component suggests a need for an income stabilisation policy. However, the contribution of the global transient seasonal poverty is important for households clustered around the poverty line, but low for the poorest part of the chronically poor. Thus, policies fighting seasonal transient poverty are likely to concern the moderately poor rather than the very poor, as compared with policies against chronic poverty, which affect the very poor. The probability transition analysis across seasonal living standard distributions shows that mobility across quintiles is always very strong. The poverty crisis in the last season is more the result of many peasants falling into poverty than a decrease in the flow out of poverty. A ‘safety net’ policy aimed at the poor and the non-poor at this period would then be appropriate. We estimate equations of quantiles for household chronic and transient seasonal poverty. The agricultural choices of peasants are found to affect differently the two components of annual poverty that could therefore be addressed by a combination of policies specific to each component.

Suggested Citation

  • Christophe Muller, 1997. "Transient seasonal and chronic poverty of peasants: Evidence from Rwanda," CSAE Working Paper Series 1997-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:1997-08
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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/materials/papers/9708text.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cinar, E. Mine, 1987. "The sensitivity of extended linear expenditure system household scales to income declaration errors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 361-372, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Asep Suryahadi & Wenefrida Widyanti & Sudarno Sumarto, 2003. "Short-term poverty dynamics in rural Indonesia during the economic crisis," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(2), pages 133-144.
    2. 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.
    3. Coudouel, Aline & Hentschel, Jesko & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Medición y análisis de la pobreza
      [Poverty Measurement and Analysis]
      ," MPRA Paper 10491, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:sbe:breart:v:33:y:2013:i:1:a:8944 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Coudouel, Aline & Hentschel, Jesko & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Измерение И Анализ Бедности
      [Poverty Measurement and Analysis]
      ," MPRA Paper 10492, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Shahin Yaqub, 2003. "Relating Severe Poverty and Chronic Poverty," Working Papers wpdea0307, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
    7. Coudouel, Aline & Hentschel, Jesko & Wodon, Quentin, 2002. "Mesure et analyse de la pauvreté
      [Poverty Measurement and Analysis]
      ," MPRA Paper 10490, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Mckay, Andrew & Lawson, David, 2003. "Assessing the Extent and Nature of Chronic Poverty in Low Income Countries: Issues and Evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 425-439, March.
    9. Avner Offer, 2017. "The Market Turn: From Social Democracy to Market Liberalism," Economics Series Working Papers 149, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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