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Well-Being Dynamics and Poverty Traps

Christopher Barrett (), Teevrat Garg () and Linden McBride ()
Additional contact information
Teevrat Garg: Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and Environment, London School of Economics, London, WC2A 2AE, United Kingdom
Linden McBride: Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853

Annual Review of Resource Economics, 2016, vol. 8, issue 1, 303-327

Abstract: A sound understanding of poverty traps—defined as poverty that is self-reinforcing due to the poor's equilibrium behaviors—and their underlying mechanisms is fundamentally important to the development of policies and interventions targeted to assist the poor. We review the theoretical and empirical evidence on single equilibrium and multiple equilibria poverty traps at the macro-, meso-, and, especially, microlevels. In addition we review the literature exploring the various mechanisms that have been posited to perpetuate poverty. We find sufficient evidence to support the poverty traps hypothesis, suggesting that policies designed to interrupt those self-perpetuating mechanisms merit serious attention.

Keywords: chronic poverty; development; market failures; multiple equilibria; safety nets (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 I32 I38 O11 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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