Why poverty persists: Poverty dynamics in Asia and Africa – Associate Professor Bob Baulch

Free Public Seminar, Melbourne – 21 November

Why are some people trapped in chronic poverty, while others are able to escape it? This presentation will provide an overview of the major findings and policy recommendations from a recently published book on poverty dynamics in Asia and Africa: Why Poverty Persists: Poverty Dynamics in Asia and Africa (Cheltenham, UK and Northhampton, USA: Edward Elgar, 2011).

The common factors which trap people in chronic poverty, together with what allows and what prevents them from escaping it, will be analysed using panel surveys from six Asian and African countries. The distinguishing feature of these studies (from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Nepal, Pakistan, South Africa and Vietnam), which were commissioned by the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, is they span longer periods or have more survey waves than most developing country panels. Careful attention is paid to the difficult issues of attrition, measurement error, and tracking. The studies show that the processes which enable people and households to escape chronic poverty are gradual, and often interrupted by short-term set-backs, while the causes of improvements for some are causes of decline for others. It will be argued that reducing chronic poverty requires a transformative approach to development in which equitable access to employment, broad-based investments in human capital, and effective social protection all have central roles.

About the speaker

Bob Baulch was Coordinator of the Poverty Dynamics and Economic Mobility Theme at the Chronic Poverty Research Centre from 2006 to 2011 and is now Associate Professor of Economics at RMIT International University Vietnam and Adjunct Professor of Economics at Tan Tao University.  He was educated at Oxford, Sussex and Stanford universities and has worked in more than 20 developing countries.

Seminar details

Wednesday 21 November 2012
9.30 am –11.00 am

RMIT City Campus
Swanston Academic Building
Building 80, Level 10, Room 16
Corner of Swanston St & A’Beckett St
Melbourne   Vic   3000

RSVP by 14 November 2012 to gayle.seddon@rmit.edu.au