Microdeterminants of consumption, poverty, growth, and inequality in Bangladesh
Using household data from five successive national surveys, the author analyzes the microdeterminants of (and changes in) consumption, poverty, growth, and inequality in Bangladesh from 1983 to 1996. Education, demographics, land ownership, occupation, and geographic location all affect consumption and poverty. The gains in per capita consumption associated with many of these household characteristics tend to be stable over time. Returns to demographics (variables in household size) have the greatest impact on growth, perhaps because of improving employment opportunities for women. Education (in urban areas) and land (in rural areas) contribute most to measures of between-group inequality. Location takes second place, in both urban and rural areas. The author introduces the concept of conditional between-group inequality. Existing group decompositions of the Gini index along one variable do not control for other characteristics correlated with that variable. Conditional between-group Ginis avoid this pitfall. He also shows how to use unconditional and conditional between-group Ginis for simulating policies.
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