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Short-lived shocks with long-lived impacts? - household income dynamics in a transition economy

  • Lokshin, Michael
  • Ravallion, Martin

In theory, it is possible that the persistent poverty that has emerged in many transition economies, is attributable to underlying, non-convexities in the dynamics of household incomes - such that a vulnerable household will never recover from a sufficiently large, but short-lived shock to its income. This happens when there are multiple equilibria in household incomes, such that two households with the same characteristics, can have different incomes in the long run. To test the theory, the authors estimate a dynamic, panel data model of household incomes, with non-linear dynamics, and endogenous attrition. Their estimates, using data for Hungary in the 1990s, exhibit non-linearity in the income dynamics. The authors find no evidence of multiple equilibria. In general, households bounce back from transient shocks, although the process is not rapid.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2459.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2459
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  1. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-34, December.
  2. Day, R H, 1992. "Complex Economic Dynamics: Obvious in History, Generic in Theory, Elusive in Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages S9-23, Suppl. De.
  3. Varian, Hal R, 1979. "Catastrophe Theory and the Business Cycle," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 17(1), pages 14-28, January.
  4. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1994. "Poverty, Incentives, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 211-15, May.
  5. Mroz, Thomas A., 1999. "Discrete factor approximations in simultaneous equation models: Estimating the impact of a dummy endogenous variable on a continuous outcome," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 233-274, October.
  6. Costas Azariadis, 1996. "The Economics of Poverty Traps Part One: Complete Markets," Working Papers 9606, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  7. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  8. Milanovic, Branko, 1995. "Poverty, inequality, and social policy in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1530, The World Bank.
  9. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "The Efficiency Wage Hypothesis, Surplus Labour, and the Distribution of Income in L.D.C.s," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(2), pages 185-207, July.
  10. Bhargava, Alok & Sargan, J D, 1983. "Estimating Dynamic Random Effects Models from Panel Data Covering Short Time Periods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(6), pages 1635-59, November.
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