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The Geography of Poverty: Evidence from the Punjab

Ali Cheema (), Lyyla Khalid () and Manasa Patnam ()
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Ali Cheema: University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan.
Lyyla Khalid: University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Pakistan.

Lahore Journal of Economics, 2008, vol. 13, issue Special Edition, 163-188

Abstract: The article is the first comprehensive attempt at estimating the variation in the incidence, intensity and severity of poverty in the Punjab at the level of sub-provincial regions and districts. This estimation has been made possible because of the availability of the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (2003-04), which has a sample that is representative at the district-level. Estimates suggest the existence of a high poverty enclave in the south and the west regions of the Punjab. The incidence and severity of poverty in a majority of districts in thisenclave, with a few exceptions, is extremely high with one out of every two households being poor on average. The high levels of poverty in this enclave contrast with the relatively low poverty in the more urbanized north,where households are well integrated into the national and international labor market. The paper also argues that there is tremendous variation in the poverty experience of the districts in the centre. Poverty incidence in the more urbanized and industrialized northern districts of the centre contrasts sharply with the experience of Kasur, Okara and Pakpattan, where the incidence and severity of poverty is extremely high. Finally, we find thatin nine districts rural households do much worse in terms of poverty incidence than their urban counterparts. The gap between urban and rural poverty incidence and severity is highest within the district of Lahore suggesting that urbanization co-exists with a large poor population that inhabits the peri-urban areas of the district. An important aim of development policy and poverty targeting is to bridge these multi-faceted divides in the geography of poverty.

Keywords: Poverty; Pakistan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D33 I32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2008
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