Rural poverty and development alternatives in south and south-east Asia

Ghose, A.; Griffin, K.

Development and Change 11(4): 545-572


ISSN/ISBN: 0012-155X
Document Number: 366360
The available empirical evidence suggests that in most non-socialist LDCs in Asia, the rural poor have tended to become poorer, and in some cases the relative size of the class of rural poor has increased. Some of the underlying causes of this trend are examined and some policy conclusions regarding possible alternative development strategies for the future are drawn. The study focuses on 12 non-socialist Asian countries. These are Bangladesh, Burma, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, S. Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand. The factual basis for the observation that rural poverty has been persisting and even increasing is examined and it is argued that economic growth in conventional terms has been quite impressive in these countries over the past 25 years. The factual validity of some of the hypotheses that have been put forward in explaining the persistence of rural poverty in the face of economic growth are examined and an alternative explanation of the phenomenon is developed. The problem is not so much an inadequacy of growth as an imbalance in the growth process. Relevant policy issues are discussed.

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