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Rural Poverty, Risk and Development
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Rural Poverty, Risk and Development

9781843764366 Edward Elgar Publishing
Marcel Fafchamps, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University, US
Publication Date: 2003 ISBN: 978 1 84376 436 6 Extent: 272 pp
This book investigates the relationships between rural poverty, risk, and development. Building upon the author’s work in the area, it summarises the contributions of recent theoretical and empirical work to our understanding of how risk affects rural poverty levels in developing countries. In particular the book examines what we do and do not know about risk coping strategies among today’s poor rural societies. Ways in which these strategies may be re-examined and improved by governments and international organisations are proposed.

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Throughout their lifetime, men and women are subject to a wide variety of risks, such as illness, accident, death, or less directly, unemployment, crop failure, loss of property, disability, business failure, and skill obsolescence.

This book investigates the relationships between rural poverty, risk, and development. Building upon the author’s work in the area, it summarises the contributions of recent theoretical and empirical work to our understanding of how risk affects rural poverty levels in developing countries. In particular the book examines what we do and do not know about risk coping strategies among today’s poor rural societies. Ways in which these strategies may be re-examined and improved by governments and international organisations are proposed.

Rural Poverty, Risk and Development is an important contribution to the development literature and should be read by anyone interested in exploring the causes of and solutions to poverty in rural areas.
Critical Acclaim
‘The book is very rigorous and follows a logical sequence. It will no doubt become the reference book on rural poverty, risk and development with the most relevant references of the literature, and extensive mathematical modeling where possible. Indeed, the book is a masterly review of risks facing the rural poor and it comes very timely with the renewed emphasis by donors and governments on rural poverty alleviation.’
– Eric Tollens, Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

‘In Transforming Traditional Agriculture (1964), Theodore Schultz argued that tiny farmers in developing countries were "efficient but poor", needing – and able to use – new technology to escape poverty. The successes of the Green Revolution have proved him half right; but why has this not reached over 800 million rural people still living on less than a dollar a day? Much-researched obstacles include: limits on the technology; deep sources of inequality by class, urban–rural location, and gender; costs, to farmers, of economic transactions, especially when the principal and the agent are different persons; gaps in, and costs of, information; and risk. This book provides a masterly review of risks facing the rural poor: sources, analytics, consequences, policy remedies – and their interactions with other obstacles to escape from poverty. Both for professionals and for graduate students with some mathematical background, this is an excellent analysis of rural risk and its links to poverty, inequality and development policy.’
– Michael Lipton, Poverty Research Unit, University of Sussex, UK
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Introduction 2. Risk and Poverty 3. The Risk Coping Strategies of the Rural Poor 4. The Limits to Risk Coping 5. Risk and Inequality 6. Risk and Development 7. Conclusion Bibliography Index
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