How strong is the evidence for the existence of poverty traps? A multi country assessment
In this paper, we focus on the role of assets in relation to chronic poverty. In particular, we consider the issue of whether it is not just low levels of assets which identify and explain chronic poverty, but also whether the asset accumulation process displays non-linearities and non-convexities that could explain why some households experience persistent poverty. We use parametric and nonparametric methods to test for evidence of the existence of an asset-based poverty trap mechanism across seven panel data sets, in five countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and in so doing add substantially to the existing evidence base on this issue.
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