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Explaining Poverty Evolution: The Case of Mozambique

  • Channing Arndt
  • M. Azhar Hussain
  • E. Samuel Jones
  • Virgulino Nhate
  • Finn Tarp
  • James Thurlow

Measuring poverty remains a complex and contentious issue. This is particularly true in sub-Saharan Africa where poverty rates are higher, information bases typically weaker, and the underlying determinants of welfare relatively volatile. This paper employs recently collected data on household consumption in Mozambique to examine the evolution of consumption poverty with focus on the period 2002/03 to 2008/09. The paper contributes in four areas. First, the period in question was characterized by major movements in international commodity prices. Mozambique provides an illuminating case study of the implications of these world commodity price changes for living standards of poor people. Second, a novel ‘backcasting’ approach using a computable general equilibrium model of Mozambique, linked to a poverty module is introduced. Third, the backcasting approach is also employed to rigorously examine the poverty-growth-inequality triangle. Finally, various simple but useful and rarely applied approaches to considering regional changes in poverty rates are presented. We find that the national poverty rate in Mozambique stagnated between 2002/03 and 2008/09.

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File URL: http://www.wider.unu.edu/stc/repec/pdfs/wp2011/wp2011-17.pdf
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Paper provided by World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) in its series Working Paper Series with number UNU-WIDER Working Paper WP2011/17.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2011-17
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  1. Tarp, Finn, 2006. "Aid and Development," MPRA Paper 13171, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Tarp, Finn & Simler, Kenneth & Matusse, Cristina & Heltberg, Rasmus & Dava, Gabriel, 2002. "The robustness of poverty profiles reconsidered," FCND discussion papers 124, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Arndt, Channing & Benfica, Rui & Tarp, Finn & Thurlow, James & Uaiene, Rafael, 2010. "Biofuels, poverty, and growth: a computable general equilibrium analysis of Mozambique," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(01), pages 81-105, February.
  4. Tarp, Finn & Arndt, Channing & Jensen, Henning Tarp & Robinson, Sherman & Heltberg, Rasmus, 2002. "Facing the development challenge in Mozambique: an economywide perspective," Research reports 126, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Maxim Pinkovskiy, 2010. "African Poverty is Falling...Much Faster than You Think!," NBER Working Papers 15775, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Channing Arndt & Rui Benfica & Nelson Maximiano & Antonio M. D. Nucifora & James T. Thurlow, 2008. "Higher fuel and food prices: impacts and responses for Mozambique," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(s1), pages 497-511, November.
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