Economic growth has very different effects on different households, this study of 35 north Indian villages shows. Members of 28.5 percent of 6,376 households in these villages have overcome chronic poverty in the last 25 years, but members of another 25.9 percent have fallen into abiding poverty at the same time. Households' escape from poverty is assisted by one set of factors, but an entirely different set of factors is associated with households' decline. Two distinct sets of policies are required thus - one to promote escape from chronic poverty and another to arrest decline. Poverty has some distinctly local antecedents, it is seen. A methodology for tracking changes in poverty at the local level is developed that community groups can use to assess change and examine causes.
Escaping poverty and becoming poor: who gains, who loses, and why? Accounting for stability and change in 35 North Indian villages, presented at Staying Poor: Chronic Poverty and Development Policy, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, 7-9 April 2003. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, 45 pp.