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Vulnerability, Poverty and Coping in Zimbabwe


  • Bird, Kate
  • Prowse, Martin


This paper uses five life histories from three locations in Zimbabwe?one peri-urban, one urban and one rural?to provide a window on current processes of impoverishment and adverse coping. Each case and location highlight key aspects of Zimbabwe?s recent economic and political turmoil. Together the cases suggest that, similar to Hoddinott?s work on the persistence of the 1993-94 rainfall shock in rural Zimbabwe, above and beyond increased mortality rates and morbidity levels, current adverse forms of coping are creating widespread irreversible wellbeing losses. The persistent effects of the current crisis surely adds weight to arguments that the international community should be more, rather than less, proactive in delivering aid to the Zimbabwean people, despite the politicization of aid and logistical difficulties.

Suggested Citation

  • Bird, Kate & Prowse, Martin, 2008. "Vulnerability, Poverty and Coping in Zimbabwe," WIDER Working Paper Series 041, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:rp2008-41

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank Ellis, 2000. "The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 289-302.
    2. Tony Addison & Liisa Laakso, 2003. "The political economy of Zimbabwe's descent into conflict," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 457-470.
    3. 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.
    4. Ellis, Frank, 2000. "Rural Livelihoods and Diversity in Developing Countries," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296966, June.
    5. Masakure, Oliver & Henson, Spencer, 2005. "Why do small-scale producers choose to produce under contract? Lessons from nontraditional vegetable exports from Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1721-1733, October.
    6. Kinsey, Bill H., 2004. "Zimbabwe's Land Reform Program: Underinvestment in Post-Conflict Transformation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1669-1696, October.
    7. Woelk, Godfrey & Mtisi, Sobona & Vaughan, J. Patrick, 2001. "Prospects for tobacco control in Zimbabwe: a historical perspective," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 179-192, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Don J. Webber & StephaniƩ Rossouw, 2010. "Sub-national vulnerability measures:A spatial perspective," Working Papers 1004, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
    2. sowmya, 2015. "Health Shocks and Short-Term Consumption GrowthAuthor-Name: Sowmya Dhanaraj," Working Papers 2015-112, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    3. Dhanaraj Sowmya, 2015. "Health Shocks and the Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India," WIDER Working Paper Series 004, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Sowmya Dhanaraj, 2015. "Health Shocks and Inter-Generational Transmission of Inequality," Working Papers 2015-118, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.


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