Stagflation, the Labor Market Impact, and the Poverty Puzzle in Pakistan: A Preliminary Analysis
This article discusses the impact of the current stagflation in Pakistan on the labor market and poverty. The paper presents a preliminary explanation of why the labor market and poverty impact of the current stagflation may be far smaller than projected in recent studies, especially for the rural economy. The main conclusions that emerge are that (1) The overwhelming expected negative impact of low economic growth, high double-digit inflation, and crippling energy shortages on poverty and the labor market appear to have been cushioned by the large increase in remittances, rising wages in agriculture and services, and social safety nets; (2) there is, however, no reason for complacency since over 20 million people live in absolute poverty and that the economy remains in deep stagflation, (3) the PSLM (HIES) 2010/11 data should be made publicly available so that it can be subject to more critical analysis and (4) studies on poverty should be based on a close integration of macro-sectoral–micro-factors to fully capture the underlying “poverty dynamics.”
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