Changes in Poverty in Madagascar: 1993-1999

Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program Working Paper No. 120

112 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2003

See all articles by Stefano Paternostro

Stefano Paternostro

World Bank - Poverty Reduction Group (PRMPR)

Jean Razafindravonona

Institut National de la Statistique (INSTAT)

David C. Stifel

Lafayette College

Date Written: July 2001

Abstract

This paper takes advantage of nationally representative cross-sectional household data sets from 1993, 1997 and 1999, to examine changes in poverty in Madagascar. The authors find that poverty in this Indian Ocean country rose from an already high level of 70 percent in 1993, to 73.3 in 1997, before falling to 71.3 in 1999. This pattern of change, which corresponds to the evolution of macroeconomic policy during this period, was restricted primarily to urban areas. Populations in rural areas witnessed persistent increases in poverty despite market reforms, as structural constraints affected their ability to escape poverty. A strong correlation between "remoteness" (as measured by various proxies) and high levels of poverty support this finding. Small scale agricultural households were hit particularly hard in the 1990s, and the data suggest that these are the very households that have been extending their land use by clearing and cultivating increasingly fragile lands. The use of models of household consumption to decompose changes in poverty into returns and endowment effects, substantiate the hypothesis that decreases in land productivity among these small-holders contributed to increases in poverty. These decompositions also reveal that increased access and returns to education between 1993 and 1999 contributed to declines in poverty.

Keywords: economic development, measurement of economic growth, aggregate productivity, Africa, Madagascar

JEL Classification: O1, O47, O55

Suggested Citation

Paternostro, Stefano and Razafindravonona, Jean and Stifel, David C., Changes in Poverty in Madagascar: 1993-1999 (July 2001). Cornell Food and Nutrition Policy Program Working Paper No. 120, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=430423 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.430423

Stefano Paternostro

World Bank - Poverty Reduction Group (PRMPR) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-3492 (Phone)
202-473-8466 (Fax)

Jean Razafindravonona

Institut National de la Statistique (INSTAT) ( email )

BP 485 Anosy
Antananarivo 101
Madagascar
261 20 22 216 52 (Phone)
261 20 22 332 50 (Fax)

David C. Stifel (Contact Author)

Lafayette College ( email )

Easton, PA 18042
United States

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