Pathways into and out of Poverty: A Study of Rural Household Wealth Dynamics in Kenya

<>, T. S. Jayne, William J. Burke

This study identifies the factors associated with smallholder farm households that have risen out of poverty or descended into poverty between 1997 and 2007 in Kenya. The study uses data from a nationwide balanced panel of 1,275 households and data from detailed retrospective ‘life history’ survey of 84 households that had experienced either an appreciable improvement or decline in their asset wealth over the 10-year panel period. The results indicate that household welfare dynamics are associated with a disparate set of idiosyncratic and unexpected shocks, such as death and chronic illness, demographic factors, proximity to infrastructural facilities, as well as intergenerational wealth transfers.


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