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Correlates of Incidence and Exit from Chronic Poverty in Rural India: Evidence from Panel Data

Shashanka Bhide
Aasha Kapur Mehta


The distinction between chronic or extended duration poverty and transient poverty is rarely made in the substantial literature on poverty in India. Determination of poverty as chronic or temporary requires that the same households be tracked over time through a panel data set and/or use of life or event history and other qualitative approaches. This paper reviews the limited panel data based literature on chronic poverty in India and a subset of the literature on other countries. It then uses panel data that longitudinally track 3,139 households in rural India to try to identify and understand the factors that influenced or constrained changes in poverty status over time. The paper analyses the impact of selected variables at the household, village and district level on poverty incidence at each of the two points of time. It tries to identify the characteristics of households that exhibit mobility into and out of poverty and of those that simply stay poor. It also tries to understand the policy implications arising out of differences in the importance of various factors in influencing chronic poverty and exit from it.

This paper has been published as a chapter in the book entitled Chronic Poverty in India, edited by Aasha Kapur Mehta and Andrew Shepherd, Sage Publications, India. This book is not available to download online, but it is available to buy from the ODI bookshop (and other sources).

Publication Type(s)

CPRC India Working Paper


poverty dynamics India panel data


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