S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.30 No.1/2 (2001)
Are Poor Households Coping? Assets, Vulnerability and Decreasing Opportunities
- Rocha, Mercedesgonzalez
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.30 No.2, pp. 1-40
- The purpose of this paper is to analyze and document poor household's responses to broader economic change, by reviewing findings of selected country studies (22 studies from 15 countries) conducted under the Poverty Strategy Initiative by UNDP. Surprisingly, households of a very heterogenous group of countries are reacting in a very similar way. Households have responded to worsening economic conditions through labour intensification practices, relying on their main existing asset, i.e., their labor force. Along with these practices household responses have also included other practices that are usually left out of mainstream poverty assessments: cutting consumption, "eating-up" savings, selling household assets, and restricted social exchange. Adjustment and restructuring processes are taking place at the household level leading to greater vulnerability. This paper also examines the limitations of the survival strategies approach.
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