El NiñO or El Peso? Crisis, Poverty, and Income Distribution in the Philippines

Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Gaurav Datt

Gaurav Datt

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

J. G. M. (Hans) Hoogeveen

World Bank - Research Department

Date Written: November 30, 1999

Abstract

In terms of its impact on poverty, the recent economic crisis in the Philippines was more of an El Niño phenomenon than a financial crisis. Using household survey data for 1998, Datt and Hoogeveen assess the distributional impact of the recent economic crisis in the Philippines. The results suggest that the impact of the crisis was modest, leading to a 5 percent reduction in average living standards and a 9 percent increase in the incidence of poverty-with larger increases indicated for the depth and severity of poverty.

The greater shock came from El Niño rather than through the labor market. The labor market shock was progressive (reducing inequality) while the El Niño shock was regressive (increasing inequality).

Not all households were equally vulnerable to the crisis - induced shocks. Household and community characteristics affected the impact of the shocks. Ownership of land made households more susceptible to the El Niño shocks; higher levels of education made households more vulnerable to wage and employment shocks.

The impact of the crisis was greater in more commercially developed communities. Occupational diversity within a household helped mitigate the adverse impact.

There is some evidence of consumption smoothing by the households affected by the crisis, but the poor were less able to protect their consumption, which is a matter of policy concern.

This paper - a product of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Sector Unit, East Asia and Pacific Region - is part of a larger effort in the region to better understand the social impact of the crisis.

Suggested Citation

Datt, Gaurav and Hoogeveen, Johannes G. M. (Hans), El NiñO or El Peso? Crisis, Poverty, and Income Distribution in the Philippines (November 30, 1999). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 2466. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=632536

Gaurav Datt (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Johannes G. M. (Hans) Hoogeveen

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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