The Evolution of Groupwise Poverty in Madagascar, 1999-2005
David C. Stifel
Lafayette College - Department of Economics & Business
Christopher B. Barrett
Cornell University - Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics & Management
March 30, 2010
Journal of African Economies, 2010
This paper explores whether there exist differences in groupwise poverty in Madagascar; that is, whether there is a pattern over time of consistently poorer performance among sub-populations readily identifiable by one or more identity markers. Three key messages come out of this analysis. First, there exists a core type of household that remained persistently poor over the period 1999–2005. These households were largely not members of the dominant ethnic group, land poor, lived in remote areas, and were headed by uneducated individuals, most commonly women. Second, in addition to establishing the existence of persistent differences in poverty across groups, relative differences in returns to education, land and remoteness underscore the existence of differences within groups, as one characteristic affects the returns to another. Third, persistent differences in groupwise poverty are associated with multiple different identities, some of which are offsetting and some of which are reinforcing. For example, women's higher education tends to offset the disadvantages associated with being a head of household, while remoteness compounds the disadvantages associated with living in female-headed households.
JEL Classification: O21, O55, R20Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 23, 2011
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