Vulnerability, Shocks and Persistence of Poverty - Estimates for Semi-Arid Rural South India
This paper focuses on vulnerability of rural households to poverty when a negative crop shock occurs. Of particular concern is the possibilty of some sections experiencing long spells of poverty as a consequence of such shocks. The analysis is based on the ICRISAT panel survey of households in a semi-arid region in south India during 1975-84. Using alternative specifications that take into account direct effects of crop shocks as well as their indirect effects through asset adjustment, an assessment of vulnerability of different groups of households (e.g. classified on the basis of caste affiliation) is carried out. Whether transfers of land and non-land assets would reduce significantly their vulnerability is also examined. A reorientation of anti-poverty strategy is necessary to avoid welfare losses from negative crop shocks that are frequent and occasionally large.
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