The paper lists estimates of chronic poverty incidences in 25 countries. Research reveals its 'patterns' and socioeconomic 'correlates', but hardly 'explanations'. The patterns are three (economic insecurity, short-range mobility and path dependency) and the correlates are four (spatial, demographics and household type, human capital and labor, and physical assets). Important similarities are observed between developing and affluent countries in such patterns and correlates. In countries of vastly differing wealth, apparently people face some similar problems in fully participating and the burden of poverty is unequally shared over time, i.e. chronic poverty. Recognizing this, the paper draws on research in affluent countries centered more closely on life experiences. Such 'lifefull' approaches to chronic poverty contrast with present 'lifeless' approaches in developing countries. Useful explanations should understand the reversibility of chronic poverty, timeliness of reversals and relevance of outcomes.
Chronic poverty: scrutinizing estimates,patterns, correlates, and explanations, CPRC Working Paper No. 21, Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, ISBN 1-904049-20-6, 36 pp.