Prior work has shown that there is a significant amount of turnover amongst the African poor as households exit and enter poverty. Some of this mobility can be attributed to regular movement back and forth in response to exogenous variability in climate, prices, health, etc. ('churning'). Other crossings of the poverty line reflect permanent shifts in long-term well-being associated with gains or losses of productive assets or permanent changes in asset productivity due, for example, to adoption of improved technologies or access to new, higher-value markets. Distinguishing true structural mobility from simple churning is important because it clarifies the factors that facilitate such important structural change. Conversely, it also helps identify the constraints that may leave other households caught in a trap of persistent, structural poverty.
The papers in this book help to distinguish the types of poverty and to deepen understanding of the structural features and constraints that create poverty traps. Such an understanding allows communities, local governments and donors to take proactive, effective steps to combat persistent poverty in Africa.
This book was previously published as a special issue of the Journal of Development Studies.
1. Understanding and Reducing Persistent Poverty in Africa: Introduction to a Special Issue Christopher B. Barrett, Michael R. Carter & Peter D. Little 2. The Economics of Poverty Traps and Persistent Poverty: An Asset-Based Approach Michael R. Carter & Christopher B. Barrett 3. ‘Moving in Place’: Drought and Poverty Dynamics in South Wollo, Ethiopia Peter D. Little, M. Priscilla Stone, Tewodaj Mogues, A. Peter Castro & Workneh Negatu 4. Exploring Poverty Traps and Social Exclusion in South Africa Using Qualitative and Quantitative Data Michelle Adato, Michael R. Carter & Julian May 5. Welfare Dynamics in Rural Kenya and Madagascar Christopher B. Barrett, Paswel Phiri Marenya, John McPeak, Bart Minten, Festus Murithi, Willis Oluoch-Kosura, Frank Place, Jean Claude Randrianarisoa, Jhon Rasambainarivo & Justine Wangila 6. Persistent Poverty in North East Ghana Ann Whitehead 7. Shocks and their Consequences Across and Within Households in Rural Zimbabwe John Hoddinott 8. Rural Income and Poverty in a Time of Radical Change in Malawi Pauline E. Peters 9. Escaping Poverty and Becoming Poor in 36 Villages of Central and Western Uganda Anirudh Krishna, Daniel Lumonya, Milissa Markiewicz, Firminus Mugumya, Agatha Kafuko & Jonah Wegoye