The Two Poverties

31 Pages Posted: 31 May 2001

See all articles by Abhijit V. Banerjee

Abhijit V. Banerjee

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 9, 2000


There are at least two distinct and inconsistent views of poverty. These views, which can be called "poverty as desperation" and "poverty as vulnerability", have different implications about anti-poverty policy. It is important to confront the conflict between them before data can be applied to tell us whether any of the views are right or even interesting.

JEL Classification: D31, I32, I38.

Suggested Citation

Banerjee, Abhijit V., The Two Poverties (March 9, 2000). Available at SSRN: or

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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