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Does poverty trap rural Malagasy households?

  • Frédéric Gaspart

    (Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain)

  • Anne-Claire Thomas


    (UMR 225 DIAL, IRD, Université Paris Dauphine, Earth and Life Institute, Université catholique de Louvain)

(english) This paper studies the determinants of poverty dynamics in several rural areas from Madagascar. A particular attention is devoted to testing if rural poverty persistence in Madagascar could be explained by a vicious circle leading to a poverty trap. Annual poverty transitions retrieved from an original household panel data survey covering the 1996-2006 periods show that differences in household and environment characteristics are clearly associated with di¤erences in poverty transitions probabilities. Poverty-vulnerable households have higher dependency ratio and are less educated. They also show different income-generating activities pattern. They cultivate less market-oriented crops and have more vulnerable activities such as agricultural wage work. A Markovian poverty transition model is used to evaluate the role of past poverty in this situation. Past poverty is allowed to have both an intercept and a slope effect on poverty transitions probabilities. Our results show that a substantial share of the di¤erences in household poverty transitions probabilities is attributable to past poverty status. These results encourage the development of social protection to prevent households to fall into a poverty trap as well as speciffic measures to encourage paths out of poverty traps. _________________________________ (français) Cet article étudie les déterminants de la dynamique de la pauvreté dans plusieurs zones rurales de Madagascar. Une attention particulière est portée à l’identification d’un éventuel effet délétère de la pauvreté passée sur la pauvreté future pouvant conduire à un cercle vicieux de perpétuation de la pauvreté. Le papier se base sur l’étude des transitions annuelles sur et sous le seuil de pauvreté observées sur un panel de ménages ruraux malgaches entre 1996 et 2006. Un modèle markovien est utilisé pour évaluer le rôle des caractéristiques des ménages, de l’environnement et de la pauvreté passée dans la probabilité de passer sur ou sous le seuil de pauvreté. Les résultats montrent que certaines caractéristiques des ménages et de l'environnement sont clairement associées à différences dans les probabilités de transitions sur et sous le seuil de pauvreté. En particulier, les ménages vulnérables à la pauvreté ont un rapport de dépendance plus élevé, sont moins éduqués et ont une composition de revenus différentes. Ils sont notamment moins orientés vers les cultures agricoles et plus orientés vers des activités précaires comme le salariat agricole. Un effet délétère de la pauvreté passée sur le risque d’être pauvre dans le futur est également mis en évidence. Il passe à la fois par un effet de pente et un effet de niveau. Ces résultats soulignent la nécessite de mettre en place des politiques spécifiques contre la vulnérabilité à la pauvreté, d’une part, et contre la pauvreté de long terme d’ autre part.

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Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2012/07.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201207
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