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Poverty in the Brazilian Amazon: an assessment of poverty focused on the State of Para


  • Verner, Dorte


The states in the Brazilian Amazon have made progress in reducing poverty and improving social indicators in the last decade. Despite this progress, the poverty rate in the Amazon is among the highest in Brazil. As of 2000, rural poverty is the greatest challenge. In Par?, not only is the headcount poverty rate of 58.4 percent in rural areas more than 55 percent higher than headcount poverty in urban areas, but also poverty is much deeper in rural areas. The fall in infant mortality and adult illiteracy corroborate the improvement in measured income poverty. Census data from 2000 and 1991 reveal that more people left Par? than came to live in the state during the 1970s, the opposite of the 1980s. In 2000, the Gini coefficient for Par?, as in the Amazon as a whole, was 0.60. The poverty profile reveals that indigenous peoples experience a higher poverty incidence than other groups. Census 2000 data reveal that living in rural areas in Par? does not by itself affect the probability of being poor. Individual and household characteristics are more important than geographical location. The largest statistical differences in poverty reduction between rural and urban areas are found in the effect of education, sector of employment, gender, and family size. PNAD data from 2001 reveal that living in urban areas in Par? does not by itself affect the probability of falling below the poverty line in urban areas in Brazil. The strongest poverty correlates are education, experience, race, rural location, gender, and labor market association.

Suggested Citation

  • Verner, Dorte, 2004. "Poverty in the Brazilian Amazon: an assessment of poverty focused on the State of Para," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3357, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3357

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    2. Pavcnik, Nina & Blom, Andreas & Goldberg, Pinelopi & Schady, Norbert, 2003. "Trade liberalization and labor market adjustment in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2982, The World Bank.
    3. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
    4. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
    5. Amadeo, Edward Joaquim & Neri, Marcelo Côrtes, 2000. "Macroeconomic policy and poverty in Brazil," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 373, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
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    Cited by:

    1. Klemick, Heather, 2008. "Do Liquidity Constraints Help Preserve Tropical Forests? Evidence from the Eastern Amazon," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6473, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).


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