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The Evolution of Groupwise Poverty in Madagascar, 1999--2005-super- †

David Stifel (), Felix Forster and Christopher Barrett ()

Journal of African Economies, 2010, vol. 19, issue 4, 559-604

Abstract: This paper explores whether there exist differences in groupwise poverty in Madagascar; that is, whether there is a pattern over time of consistently poorer performance among sub-populations readily identifiable by one or more identity markers. Three key messages come out of this analysis. First, there exists a core type of household that remained persistently poor over the period 1999--2005. These households were largely not members of the dominant ethnic group, land poor, lived in remote areas, and were headed by uneducated individuals, most commonly women. Second, in addition to establishing the existence of persistent differences in poverty across groups, relative differences in returns to education, land and remoteness underscore the existence of differences within groups, as one characteristic affects the returns to another. Third, persistent differences in groupwise poverty are associated with multiple different identities, some of which are offsetting and some of which are reinforcing. For example, women's higher education tends to offset the disadvantages associated with being a head of household, while remoteness compounds the disadvantages associated with living in female-headed households. Copyright 2010 The author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2010
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