IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/6835.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Do poverty traps exist ?

Author

Listed:
  • Kraay, Aart
  • McKenzie, David

Abstract

This paper reviews the empirical evidence on the existence of poverty traps, understood as self-reinforcing mechanisms through which poor individuals or countries remain poor. Poverty traps have captured the interest of many development policy makers, because poverty traps provide a theoretically coherent explanation for persistent poverty. They also suggest that temporary policy interventions may have long-term effects on poverty. However, a review of the reduced-form empirical evidence suggests that truly stagnant incomes of the sort predicted by standard models of poverty traps are in fact quite rare. Moreover, the empirical evidence regarding several canonical mechanisms underlying models of poverty traps is mixed.

Suggested Citation

  • Kraay, Aart & McKenzie, David, 2014. "Do poverty traps exist ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6835, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6835
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2014/04/07/000158349_20140407145312/Rendered/PDF/WPS6835.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bryan Graham & Jonathan Temple, 2006. "Rich Nations, Poor Nations: How Much Can Multiple Equilibria Explain?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 5-41, March.
    2. Kraay, Aart & Raddatz, Claudio, 2007. "Poverty traps, aid, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 315-347, March.
    3. John Strauss & Duncan Thomas, 1998. "Health, Nutrition, and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 766-817, June.
    4. repec:cep:stieop:43 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Robert Lucas & Sari Kerr, 2013. "Intergenerational income immobility in Finland: contrasting roles for parental earnings and family income," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1057-1094, July.
    6. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1997. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification, and Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(4), pages 709-751, August.
    7. Abhijit Banerjee & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2010. "The Shape of Temptation: Implications for the Economic Lives of the Poor," Working Papers id:2484, eSocialSciences.
    8. Ben-David, Dan, 1998. "Convergence clubs and subsistence economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 155-171, February.
    9. Subramanian, Shankar & Deaton, Angus, 1996. "The Demand for Food and Calories," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 133-162, February.
    10. Caucutt Elizabeth M & Kumar Krishna B., 2008. "Africa: Is Aid an Answer?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-48, December.
    11. Francisca Antman & David McKenzie, 2007. "Poverty traps and nonlinear income dynamics with measurement error and individual heterogeneity," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 1057-1083.
    12. Simone Schaner, 2018. "The Persistent Power of Behavioral Change: Long-Run Impacts of Temporary Savings Subsidies for the Poor," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 67-100, July.
    13. Travis J. Lybbert & Christopher B. Barrett & Solomon Desta & D. Layne Coppock, 2004. "Stochastic wealth dynamics and risk management among a poor population," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(498), pages 750-777, October.
    14. William Easterly, 2006. "Reliving the 1950s: the big push, poverty traps, and takeoffs in economic development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 289-318, December.
    15. Michelle Adato & Michael Carter & Julian May, 2006. "Exploring poverty traps and social exclusion in South Africa using qualitative and quantitative data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 226-247.
    16. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, June.
    17. Felix Naschold, 2013. "Welfare Dynamics in Pakistan and Ethiopia -- Does the Estimation Method Matter?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(7), pages 936-954, July.
    18. Oriana Bandiera & Robin Burgess & Narayan Das & Selim Gulesci & Imran Rasul & Munshi Sulaiman, 2013. "Can Basic Entrepreneurship Transform the Economic Lives of the Poor?," STICERD - Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers Series 043, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    19. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 2000. "Population, Technology, and Growth: From Malthusian Stagnation to the Demographic Transition and Beyond," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 806-828, September.
    20. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Cynthia Kinnan, 2015. "The Miracle of Microfinance? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 22-53, January.
    21. Lokshin Michael & Ravallion Martin, 2004. "Household Income Dynamics in Two Transition Economies," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-33, September.
    22. Santos, Paulo & Barrett, Christopher B., 2011. "Persistent poverty and informal credit," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 337-347, November.
    23. Dipak Mazumdar, 1959. "The Marginal Productivity Theory of Wages and Disguised Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 190-197.
    24. Quah, Danny T, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 27-59, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Arunachalam, Raj & Shenoy, Ajay, 2017. "Poverty traps, convergence, and the dynamics of household income," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 215-230.
    2. Francisca Antman & David McKenzie, 2007. "Poverty traps and nonlinear income dynamics with measurement error and individual heterogeneity," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 1057-1083.
    3. Dylan Fitz & Shyam Gouri Suresh, 2021. "Poverty traps across levels of aggregation," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 16(4), pages 909-953, October.
    4. Janzen, Sarah A. & Carter, Michael R. & Ikegami, Munenobu, 2012. "Valuing Asset Insurance in the Presence of Poverty Traps: A Dynamic Approach," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124805, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Christopher Barrett & Cissé Jennifer Denno, 2016. "Working Paper 236 - Estimating Development Resilience: A Conditional Moments-Based Approach," Working Paper Series 2340, African Development Bank.
    6. William Easterly, 2006. "Reliving the 1950s: the big push, poverty traps, and takeoffs in economic development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 289-318, December.
    7. Cissé, Jennifer Denno & Barrett, Christopher B., 2018. "Estimating development resilience: A conditional moments-based approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 272-284.
    8. Jonathan Temple & Huikang Ying & Patrick Carter, 2014. "Transfers and Transformations: Remittances, Foreign Aid, and Growth," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 14/649, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK, revised 02 Dec 2014.
    9. Keith Blackburn & Gonzalo F. Forgues-Puccio, 2011. "Foreign aid - a fillip for development or a fuel for corruption?," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 158, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    10. Humberto López & Luis Servén, 2015. "Too Poor to Grow," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Ricardo J. Caballero & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (ed.),Economic Policies in Emerging-Market Economies Festschrift in Honor of Vittorio Corbo, edition 1, volume 21, chapter 13, pages 309-350, Central Bank of Chile.
    11. Haider, Hamza, "undated". "Asset Management & Coping Strategies in Burkina Faso," 2017 Annual Meeting, July 30-August 1, Chicago, Illinois 259956, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Luis Casanova, 2008. "Trampas de Pobreza en Argentina: Evidencia Empírica a Partir de un Pseudo Panel," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0064, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    13. Johnson, Nancy L. & Kovarik, Chiara & Meinzen-Dick, Ruth & Njuki, Jemimah & Quisumbing, Agnes, 2016. "Gender, Assets, and Agricultural Development: Lessons from Eight Projects," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 295-311.
    14. Van Campenhout, Bjorn & Dercon, Stefan, 2012. "Nonlinear dynamics of livestock assets: Evidence from Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1215, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Sungil Kwak & Stephen C. Smith, 2013. "Regional Agricultural Endowments and Shifts of Poverty Trap Equilibria: Evidence from Ethiopian Panel Data," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(7), pages 955-975, July.
    16. Meysonnat, Aline & Muysken, Joan & Zon, Adriaan van, 2015. "Poverty traps: the neglected role of vitality," MERIT Working Papers 2015-052, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    17. Giesbert, Lena & Schindler, Kati, 2012. "Assets, Shocks, and Poverty Traps in Rural Mozambique," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1594-1609.
    18. Stephen C. Smith & Sungil Kwak, 2011. "Multidimensional Poverty and Interlocking Poverty Traps: Framework and Application to Ethiopian Household Panel Data," Working Papers 2011-04, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    19. Kraay, Aart & Raddatz, Claudio, 2007. "Poverty traps, aid, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 315-347, March.
    20. Anderson, Bret, 2012. "Converting Asset Holdings into Livelihood: An Empirical Study on the Role of Household Agency in South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1394-1406.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rural Poverty Reduction; Achieving Shared Growth; Economic Theory&Research; Debt Markets; Poverty Reduction Strategies;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6835. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.