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Poverty, Customary Economy and Migration in Metro Manila: An Analysis of Changes in Social Customs in a Squatter Area: 1985-1994


  • Toru Nakanishi

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.)


The purpose of this paper is to examine the chronic poverty problems in Metro Manila, based on the NSO data and the participant observations in a squatters area. Indeed, we can recognize the improvement in the poverty incidence in M. M. during the 1990s, but the level of the alleviation may tend to be exaggerated. In fact, while it is often pointed out that most of the slum dwellers are migrants from Bicol, Western and Eastern Visayas, the pattern of the immigration of M. M. has not yet changed. Furthermore, we would like to explain the changes in the "customary economy" through the participant observations since 1985. Such an informal economic mechanism secures the poor social safety nets, which they cannot obtain in "market economy". We can point out that such a role of "customary economy" may be based on the town-mate socio-economic relationships, "kababayan". During the 1990s, the dominant mechanism in the labor market has changed from the "bilateral vertical" to the "multilateral horizontal" relationships. It can be a symptom of mobilizing community resources in the Philippines.

Suggested Citation

  • Toru Nakanishi, 1999. "Poverty, Customary Economy and Migration in Metro Manila: An Analysis of Changes in Social Customs in a Squatter Area: 1985-1994," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-44, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  • Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:99cf44

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    Cited by:

    1. S. Mukherji, 2011. "Urban–rural Inequalities in South and South-East Asia: Colonial Policy Impacts and Current Spatial–Economic Disparities," Chapters,in: International Handbook of Urban Policy, Volume 3, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.

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