Poverty Knowledge and Poverty Action: Evidence from Three States in India
Even as some households are coming out of poverty, other households are concurrently falling into poverty. Poverty creation and poverty destruction are proceeding alongside. A bottom-up methodology for studying poverty was developed to help examine movements out of and into poverty at the grassroots level. Applied within 178 villages of three states in India, this methodology revealed that (a) escape from poverty and descent into poverty have occurred simultaneously in every village; (b) even quite well-to-do households have fallen into abiding poverty; and (c) the set of factors associated with escapes out of poverty differs from the set of factors associated with descents into poverty. Two separate sets of poverty policies are required: one set to facilitate householdsâ€™ escapes out of poverty, and another set to head off descents into poverty. Because reasons for escape and descent vary by region, both sets of policies need to be regionally differentiated and locally controlled. Neglecting the task of preventing descents into poverty is directly responsible for the slow pace of poverty reduction. Up to one-third of those who are presently poor were not born poor â€“ they have fallen into poverty within their lifetimes. For other work on poverty : http://www.pubpol.duke.edu/krishna
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