Poverty, Shared Prosperity, and Vulnerability

Paper Session

Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Swissotel Chicago, St Gallen 3
Hosted By: Association for Social Economics
  • Chair: Quentin Wodon, World Bank

Changes Over Time in Multidimensional Poverty: Methodology and Results for 34 Countries

Sabina Alkire
,
University of Oxford and George Washington University
Jose Manuel Roche
,
Save the Children Fund
Ana Vaz
,
University of Oxford

Abstract

This paper sets out a systemic account of multidimensional poverty dynamics using the Alkire-Foster Adjusted Headcount Ratio and its consistent sub-indices. It also scrutinizes three approaches to assessing the pro-poorness of multidimensional poverty reduction. These techniques were then applied to the analysis of changes in multidimensional poverty based on the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and related destitution measure. The analysis focused on 34 countries and 338 subnational regions, covering 2.5 billion people, for which there is a recent MPI estimation and comparable Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) dataset for analysis across time. First, it assesses overall changes in poverty and its incidence and intensity, and compares this with changes in $1.25 poverty. Next, utilizing the property of subgroup decomposability, it examines changes in the MPI and its consistent sub-indices over time across urban-rural regions, subnational regions, and ethnic groups. The decomposition analysis identified relevant national patterns, including those in which the pace of poverty reduction is higher for the poorest subgroups. Finally, the paper analyses the dynamics of a strict subset of the poor, who are identified as ‘destitute’ using a more extreme deprivation cutoff vector, and studies relative rates of reduction of destitution and poverty by country and region. In the course of this extensive empirical analysis, some further research questions emerge.

Blurring the Individual's Boundary: Examining Interdependent Entitlement Perceptions in the Italian Mezzogiorno

Aurelie Charles
,
University of Bath

Abstract

Group-based ideals, whether they are cultural, professional, ethnic, gender and so on, set the benchmark of behavioural norms and expectations, and influence the point of optimality according to which resources are allocated according to these groups. The paper investigates the role of ideals regarding cultural and gender norms in influencing people's perception of the self at the household level by looking at female and male heads of traditional nuclear households in the Italian Mezzogiorno. Ordered logit regression analysis reveals that cultural and gender norms define the extent to which entitlement levels are perceived to be individual or household-based. Such findings suggest that norms blur the boundary for people to perceive themselves as social rather than individual entities.

Social capital and utilization of health services in Nagaland, India: an exploratory study

Avril Kaplan
,
Johns Hopkins University

Abstract

Over the past fifteen years, the concept of social capital has gained attention among economists and public health practitioners. However, few researchers have examined the role of social capital in health care seeking. Our mixed methods study explores this association in Nagaland, India using household survey data collected from 864 individuals who reported being sick or injured as well as focus group discussions. Through multinomial logistic regression, we find that higher trust increases the likelihood of individuals using public services (relative risk ratio (RRR) = 1.78; 95% confidence interval (CI) [1.15 - 2.75]) and private health services (RRR = 1.81; CI [1.04 - 3.12]) as compared to no or traditional services. Furthermore, higher social participation increases the likelihood of using services in the public sector over the private sector (odds ratio = 2.89; CI [1.37-6.07]). The qualitative data collected through focus group discussions in eight villages indicate that trust within a community may facilitate health service utilization by increasing an individual’s access to financial resources or transportation to service delivery points. Individuals with higher social participation may be more engaged in community-based efforts to improve government health services, and therefore may be more inclined to use them.

Economic Cost of Child Marriage: Global Estimates

Quentin Wodon
,
World Bank

Abstract

Based on a wide range of existing data, the paper provides global estimates of the impact of child marriage on health and development outcomes for the girls who marry early, their children, and their family. The paper focuses on health, nutrition, and fertility outcomes, but other negative impacts are also considered, including on education and earnings. Apart from estimating the impact of child marriage on health and development outcomes, the study also estimates the economic and social costs associated with those negative impacts.

Human Capital and Shared Prosperity: Some Cross-Country Evidence

Raju Singh
,
World Bank

Abstract

Many low-income countries have high ambitions and socio-economic needs to achieve substantial income growth, especially for the poorest income quintiles. While studies investigating determinants of GDP growth have been numerous, less is known about factors influencing household incomes at the lowest segments of the income distribution. This paper estimates income drivers for the poorest two income quintiles from cross-country regressions, based on data from 117 countries between 1967 and 2011. The results suggest that maintaining macroeconomic stability as well as investing in physical and human capital (health and education) would not only accelerate overall economic growth, but benefit more particularly the poorest segments of the population. There thus need not be a trade-off between inequality and growth. Economies can foster faster growth while also increasing inclusiveness, ensuring that everyone can live up to their potential. The paper also investigates alternatives indicators of education (e.g. primary enrollment, number of years of schooling, education Gini) to get a better understanding of the transmission channels to faster income growth for the poorest two quintiles.
JEL Classifications
  • H0 - General
  • I0 - General