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Well-being dynamics and poverty traps

Listed author(s):
  • Christopher Barrett
  • Teevrat Garg
  • Linden McBride

A sound understanding of poverty traps—defined as poverty that is self-reinforcing due to the poor’s equilibrium behaviors—and their underlying mechanisms is fundamentally important to the development of policies and interventions targeted to assist the poor and/or eradicate poverty. We review the theoretical and empirical evidence on single and multiple equilibria poverty traps at the macro, meso, and, especially, micro levels. In addition we review the literature exploring the various mechanisms that have been posited to perpetuate poverty. We find sufficient evidence to support the poverty traps hypothesis, suggesting that policies designed to interrupt those self-perpetuating mechanisms merit serious attention.

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File URL: http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Working-Paper-222-Barrett-et-al.pdf
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Paper provided by Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in its series GRI Working Papers with number 222.

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Date of creation: Jan 2016
Handle: RePEc:lsg:lsgwps:wp222
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  1. Lori Beaman & Jeremy Magruder, 2012. "Who Gets the Job Referral? Evidence from a Social Networks Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3574-3593, December.
  2. William Easterly & Ross Levine, 1997. "Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1203-1250.
  3. Galor, Oded, 1996. "Convergence? Inferences from Theoretical Models," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 1056-1069, July.
  4. Giesbert, Lena & Schindler, Kati, 2012. "Assets, Shocks, and Poverty Traps in Rural Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1594-1609.
  5. Feder, Gershon & Just, Richard E & Zilberman, David, 1985. "Adoption of Agricultural Innovations in Developing Countries: A Survey," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 255-298, January.
  6. Ray, Debraj & Streufert, Peter A, 1993. "Dynamic Equilibria with Unemployment Due to Undernourishment," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 3(1), pages 61-85, January.
  7. Fogel,Robert William, 2004. "The Escape from Hunger and Premature Death, 1700–2100," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521004886, March.
  8. John Hoddinott, 2006. "Shocks and their consequences across and within households in Rural Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 301-321.
  9. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
  10. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 991-1013, September.
  11. Christopher B. Barrett & Peter Arcese, 1998. "Wildlife Harvest in Integrated Conservation and Development Projects: Linking Harvest to Household Demand, Agricultural Production, and Environmental Shocks in the Serengeti," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(4), pages 449-465.
  12. Lokshin Michael & Ravallion Martin, 2004. "Household Income Dynamics in Two Transition Economies," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-33, September.
  13. Santos, Paulo & Barrett, Christopher B., 2011. "Persistent poverty and informal credit," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 337-347, November.
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