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Rationale and logic

why the stages-of-progress methodology was developed, and how it works

Anirudh Krishna


Were all currently poor people born into poverty? What proportion were not born poor but became poor within their lifetimes? For what reasons do people fall into chronic poverty in any given context? Relatively little knowledge was available in the past that could help ascertain how poverty is created in practice. Relatively little was known as well about how poverty is actually un-made: Why did some (but not other) poor people succeed in escaping poverty? What did they do, individually or collectively, that makes them different from other, less successful, poor people? Conventional methods of investigating poverty do not help generate reliable answers to these questions. A new and unconventional method – the Stages of Progress methodology - has proved helpful for identifying poverty trends and the reasons associated, respectively, with escaping poverty and fallinginto poverty. Importantly, these reasons not only vary across contexts, in each context the reasons for escape and descent also differ from each other in important respects. The steps in the methodology and the process of development are described in this paper. Also presented are brief results of investigations undertaken in different parts of India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru and one part of the United States, together examining the economic trajectories of 36,000 households. 

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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