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The Economics of Poverty Traps

Christopher B. Barrett, Michael R. Carter, and Jean-Paul Chavas


While the world has seen much progress in economic growth and poverty reduction over the last few decades, the persistence of extreme poverty and its increased concentration in specific places has stimulated renewed interest in the processes of economic development and the possibility of poverty traps. This volume, based on papers first presented at an NBER conference in June 2016, draws together an outstanding collection of new studies of the dynamic, stochastic processes by which households accumulate assets and increase their productivity and earnings potential, as well as the conditions un ... More

Keywords: development, growth, human capital, shocks, social protection, transfers

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780226574301
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226574448.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Christopher B. Barrett, editor
Cornell University

Michael R. Carter, editor
University of California, Davis

Jean-Paul Chavas, editor
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Christopher B. Barrett, Michael R. Carter, and Jean-Paul Chavas

I Nutrition, Health, and Human Capital Formation

2 Poverty and Cognitive Function

Emma Boswell Dean, Frank Schilbach, and Heather Schofield

Comment on Chapters 1-2

John Hoddinott

II Psychology of Poverty, Hope, and Aspirations

3 Depression through the Lens of Economics A Research Agenda

Jonathan de Quidt and Johannes Haushofer

III Imperfect and Incomplete Financial Markets

5 Taking Stock of the Evidence on Microfinancial Interventions

Francisco J. Buera, Joseph P. Kaboski, and Yongseok Shin

6 Poverty Traps and the Social Protection Paradox

Munenobu Ikegami, Michael R. Carter, Christopher B. Barrett, and Sarah Janzen

Comment on Chapters 5 and 6

Stephen C. Smith

IV Dynamics and Resilience in Natural Resources and Agriculture

Comment on Chapters 7 and 8

Edward B. Barbier

V. Policy in the Presence of Poverty Trap Mechanisms

10 Can Cash Transfers Help Households Escape an Intergenerational Poverty Trap?

M. Caridad Araujo, Mariano Bosch, and Norbert Schady

Comment on Chapters 9 and 10

Maitreesh Ghatak