Index > Research themes > Intergenerational poverty

CPRC Research themes

A defining characteristic of chronically poor people is that they remain in poverty over a long period. This can mean that poverty is transmitted from one generation to another, with poor parents having poor children, who are more likely to become poor adults themselves. This intergenerational transmission of poverty can be the long term effects of poor nutrition, inadequate education and health care, few assets or a lack of opportunities. Policies and programmes can help to break this cycle.


Research on the IGT of poverty has explained how IGT poverty differs from persistent and chronic poverty, and how assets and inheritance influence resilience and the creation and interruption of intergenerational poverty. Our research has made important contributions that focus on strengthening women's agency and well-being, and their ability to invest in their children.

Important work on Asset inheritance and the intergenerational transmission of poverty was presented in an event in London and published in a series of working papers. The study brought together findings that women's access to inheritance and assets helps build resilience and prevent impoverishment, and importantly highlighted the role of local leaders in getting policy change.  

The CPRC’s research into the IGT of poverty has also looked at conflict, education and resilience in Northern Uganda. This helped to put long-term and intergenerational poverty dynamics on the agenda of agencies working in conflict situations, and finds that education is a portable asset that is useful in conflict and post conflict situations and helps people to recover from conflict more rapidly than they would without education.

IGT research has also studied the link between mother’s human capital and their children’s long term outcome; HIV/AIDS and the IGT of poverty; social policy in the OECD to interrupt the IGT of poverty; and qualitative and quantitative methods for understanding the IGT of poverty in low income developing countries.

Key resources

Overview of IGT
Focus on women, children and inheritance

Country focus

View more resources on IGT, assets, and inheritance




Publication highlights

IGT Research briefs


Theme leader

Kate Bird

Overseas Development Institute

Tel:+44 (0)20 7922 0300