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Vulnerability and livelihoods before and after the Haiti earthquake

  • Echevin, Damien

This paper examines the dynamics of poverty and vulnerability in Haiti using various data sets. As living conditions survey data are not comparable in this country, we first propose to use the three rounds of the Demographic Health Survey (DHS) available before the earthquake. Decomposing household assets changes into age and cohort effects, we use repeated cross-section data to identify and estimate the variance of shocks on assets and to simulate the probability of being poor in the future. Poverty and vulnerability profiles are drawn from these estimates. Second, we decompose vulnerability to poverty into various sources using a unique survey conducted in 2007 in rural areas. Using two-level modelling of consumption/income, we assess the impact of both observable and unobservable idiosyncratic and covariate shocks on households'economic well-being. Empirical findings show that idiosyncratic shocks, in particular health-related shocks, have larger impact on vulnerability to poverty than covariate shocks. Third, asset-wealth is characterized for households after the 2010 earthquake based on a survey designed to provide a rapid assessment of food insecurity in Haiti after the quake. Whereas it is not possible to confirm the existence of poverty trap, it seems that those households who have lost the most due to the earthquake succeeded in recovering more rapidly from the shock, regardless of the effects of assistance, and probably more in line with coping strategies that are specific to households.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5850.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5850
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  1. Alderman,Harold & Hoddinott, John & Kinsey, Bill, 2003. "Long-term consequences of early childhood malnutrition," FCND discussion papers 168, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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  10. Echevin, Damien, 2011. "Livelihoods and the allocation of emergency assistance after the Haiti earthquake," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5851, The World Bank.
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  13. Echevin, Damien, 2011. "Characterizing poverty and vulnerability in rural Haiti: a multilevel decomposition approach," MPRA Paper 35659, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Echevin, Damien, 2011. "Vulnerability to asset-poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa," MPRA Paper 35660, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. 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.
  16. Alessandro Tarozzi & Angus Deaton, 2009. "Using Census and Survey Data to Estimate Poverty and Inequality for Small Areas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 773-792, November.
  17. Pritchett, Lant & Suryahadi, Asep & Sumarto, Sudarno, 2000. "Quantifying vulnerability to poverty - a proposed measure, applied to Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2437, The World Bank.
  18. Günther, Isabel & Harttgen, Kenneth, 2009. "Estimating Households Vulnerability to Idiosyncratic and Covariate Shocks: A Novel Method Applied in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1222-1234, July.
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