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Welfare Dynamics in India over a Quarter Century: Poverty, Vulnerability, and Mobility during 1987-2012

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  • Dang, Hai-Anh H.
  • Lanjouw, Peter F.

Abstract

We analyze the Indian National Sample Survey data spanning 1987/88–2011/12 to uncover patterns of transition into and out of different classes of the consumption distribution. At the aggregate level, income growth has accelerated, accompanied by accelerating poverty decline. Underlying these trends is a process of mobility, with 40–60 percent of the population transitioning between consumption classes and increasing mobility over time. Yet, the majority of those who escape poverty remain vulnerable. Most of those who are poor were also poor in the preceding period and, thus, are likely to be chronically poor. The characteristics of upwardly mobile households contrast with those of the poor; these households are also far less likely to experience downward mobility. We also find that states exhibit heterogenous mobility patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Dang, Hai-Anh H. & Lanjouw, Peter F., 2020. "Welfare Dynamics in India over a Quarter Century: Poverty, Vulnerability, and Mobility during 1987-2012," GLO Discussion Paper Series 535, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:535
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gaurav Datt & Martin Ravallion, 2011. "Has India's Economic Growth Become More Pro-Poor in the Wake of Economic Reforms?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 25(2), pages 157-189, February.
    2. Lucas Chancel & Thomas Piketty, 2019. "Indian Income Inequality, 1922‐2015: From British Raj to Billionaire Raj?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(S1), pages 33-62, November.
    3. Himanshu, 2019. "Inequality in India: A review of levels and trends," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-42, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Mehtabul Azam, 2016. "Household Income Mobility in India, 1993-2011," Economics Working Paper Series 1705, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    5. Hai‐Anh Dang & Dean Jolliffe & Calogero Carletto, 2019. "Data Gaps, Data Incomparability, And Data Imputation: A Review Of Poverty Measurement Methods For Data‐Scarce Environments," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 757-797, July.
    6. Martin Ravallion, 2011. "A Comparative Perspective on Poverty Reduction in Brazil, China, and India," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 26(1), pages 71-104, February.
    7. Kaivan Munshi & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2005. "Why is Mobility in India so Low? Social Insurance, Inequality, and Growth," CID Working Papers 121, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    8. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan & Sofya Krutikova, 2013. "Changing Living Standards in Southern Indian Villages 1975--2006: Revisiting the ICRISAT Village Level Studies," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(12), pages 1676-1693, December.
    9. Dang, Hai-Anh & Lanjouw, Peter & Luoto, Jill & McKenzie, David, 2014. "Using repeated cross-sections to explore movements into and out of poverty," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 112-128.
    10. Guillermo Cruces & Peter Lanjouw & Leonardo Lucchetti & Elizaveta Perova & Renos Vakis & Mariana Viollaz, 2015. "Estimating poverty transitions using repeated cross-sections: a three-country validation exercise," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(2), pages 161-179, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adam Salifu & Godwin Seyram Agbemavor Horlu, 2022. "Nonfarm employment and mobility of farmers into different income groups: evidence from rural Ghana," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 1-25, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    intra-generational mobility; welfare dynamics; imputation; synthetic panel; India; National Sample Survey;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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