Do Poverty Traps Exist? Assessing the Evidence Kraay, Aart McKenzie, David 2014-11-18T20:47:21Z 2014-11-18T20:47:21Z 2014-07
dc.description.abstract A "poverty trap" can be understood as a set of self-reinforcing mechanisms whereby countries start poor and remain poor: poverty begets poverty, so that current poverty is itself a direct cause of poverty in the future. The idea of a poverty trap has this striking implication for policy: much poverty is needless, in the sense that a different equilibrium is possible and one-time policy efforts to break the poverty trap may have lasting effects. But what does the modern evidence suggest about the extent to which poverty traps exist in practice and the underlying mechanisms that may be involved? The main mechanisms we examine include S-shaped savings functions at the country level; "big-push" theories of development based on coordination failures; hunger-based traps which rely on physical work capacity rising nonlinearly with food intake at low levels; and occupational poverty traps whereby poor individuals who start businesses that are too small will be trapped earning subsistence returns. We conclude that these types of poverty traps are rare and largely limited to remote or otherwise disadvantaged areas. We discuss behavioral poverty traps as a recent area of research, and geographic poverty traps as the most likely form of a trap. The resulting policy prescriptions are quite different from the calls for a big push in aid or an expansion of microfinance. The more-likely poverty traps call for action in less-traditional policy areas such as promoting more migration. en
dc.identifier.citation Journal of Economic Perspectives
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher American Economic Association
dc.rights CC BY 3.0 IGO
dc.rights.holder American Economic Association
dc.subject wealth
dc.subject poverty analysis
dc.subject poverty measurement
dc.subject well-being
dc.subject income distribution
dc.subject poverty traps
dc.subject migration
dc.title Do Poverty Traps Exist? Assessing the Evidence en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.type Article de journal fr
dc.type Artículo de revista es
dspace.entity.type Publication 2014-11-18
okr.doctype Publications & Research :: Journal Article
okr.externalcontent External Content
okr.globalpractice Poverty
okr.identifier.doi 10.1257/jep.28.3.127
okr.journal.nbpages 127-48
okr.language.supported en
okr.peerreview Academic Peer Review
okr.topic Macroeconomics and Economic Growth :: Economic Development
okr.topic Macroeconomics and Economic Growth :: Economic Theory & Research
okr.topic Poverty Reduction :: Achieving Shared Growth
okr.topic Poverty Reduction :: Equity and Development
okr.topic Poverty Reduction :: Migration and Development
okr.unit DECRG
okr.volume 28(3)
relation.isAuthorOfPublication fe7bc90f-4a13-5746-9efb-e11d3386cdf8
relation.isAuthorOfPublication 148d6d6d-76e5-5d6f-9af9-98313e30551f
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