Pathways from Poverty


Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, resource-poor and shock-prone. Can pathways from poverty exist in such a poor place?

The objective of our work in Ethiopia is to assess changes in poverty and well-being in selected rural villages between 1994 and 2004 and to understand their underlying causal factors. Analytical work has focused on two principle themes: (1) the role of shocks as obstacles to poverty reduction and the efficacy of formal (eg food aid) and informal responses to these; and (2) the assessment of changes in well-being over time and the analysis of the causal factors underlying these changes.

Working together with partners at Addis Ababa University and the Universities of Bath and Oxford in the United Kingdom, researchers have developed a longitudinal household data set called the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS). Interviews were conducted with approximately 1400 households in 1994 (twice), 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2004 with data collected on a wide range of topics including consumption, income, assets, education, anthropometry, shocks and access to public services and public transfers. This survey work was complemented by qualitative studies in each village.

As part of work on pathways from poverty in Ethiopia, we work in close collaboration with IFPRI’s Ethiopia Strategic Support Program.

Key Publications

  • Food Aid and Child Nutrition in Rural Ethiopia. Quisumbing, A. World Development 31 (7): 1309 1324. 2003.
  • Consumption Insurance and Vulnerability to Poverty: A Synthesis of the Evidence from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Mali, Mexico, and Russia. Skoufias, E., and A. R. Quisumbing. Journal of European Development Research. 2005.
  • How Fair is Workfare? Gender, Public Works and Employment in Rural Ethiopia. Quisumbing, A. R. and Y. Yohannes. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3492. 2005.
  • Shocks and Consumption in 15 Ethiopian Villages, 1999–2004. Dercon, S., J. Hoddinott and T. Woldehanna. Journal of African Economies, vol. 14, pp. 559-585. 2005.
  • Does food aid really have disincentive effects? New evidence from sub-Saharan Africa. Abdulai, A., C. Barrett and J. Hoddinott. World Development, vol. 33, pp. 1689-1704. 2005.

Other related publications

Data Set