Escaping poverty: patterns and causes of poverty exits in rural Bangladesh. CPRC Working Paper 194.

Abstract

This paper uses findings from 293 life-history interviews, conducted by the author and a small team of researchers in rural Bangladesh in 2007, to examine what can be learned about patterns of exit from poverty. The author argues that narrative-based studies of how individuals move out of, or into poverty can complement variable-based analyses of aggregate poverty trends. The analysis of poverty exits in this paper shows that individuals on trajectories of long-term improvement in wellbeing tend to more effectively exploit a limited set of work-oriented or asset-related opportunity types, and many of these can be identified from life-history interviews. The most important of these included, in order of frequency across the set of life histories: rural farm and non-farm-related businesses (some supported by loans); land asset accumulation, livestock production; remittances and support from sons’ and (to a lesser extent) daughters’ incomes; and crop production. Life histories also show that individuals enjoying long-term wellbeing improvement differed in key ways from people showing trajectories of long-term wellbeing decline. The paper explores these differences and discusses implications for both productive and protective poverty reduction policies. Keywords:

Citation

Davies, P. Escaping poverty: patterns and causes of poverty exits in rural Bangladesh. CPRC Working Paper 194. Chronic Poverty Research Centre, London, UK (2011) 40 pp. ISBN 978-1-906433-66-6

Escaping poverty: patterns and causes of poverty exits in rural Bangladesh. CPRC Working Paper 194.

Help us improve GOV.UK

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.