Understanding Rural Poverty Dynamics: The Case of the Poorest District of Sindh Pakistan

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This research focuses on changes in the poverty status of rural households to explore the main determinants of upward and downward income and poverty mobility. The study uses panel survey data for District Badin, which is among the poorest districts of the Sindh province. Households interviewed earlier by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) during 1986-91, were surveyed again in 2005 with almost identical survey instruments. Household characteristics in terms of demography, human capital, physical capital and income composition are analyzed with reference to households falling into poverty and those overcoming poverty during the period of analysis. On the basis of field observations and statistical analysis of panel data, the paper recommends public policies to escape from poverty in future. The analysis suggests that in deprived rural regions, education, especially female education as well as non-farm income opportunities and crop diversification are the major drivers for escaping poverty.