Jan 29, 2012

Book review of the day: "One illness away"

Impressed by the clearity of Anirudh Krishnas research on the ways people get out and fall back in poverty. Must read: http://www.amazon.com/One-Illness-Away-People-Poverty/dp/019958451
Two book reviews: 

(1) From the NYT:
There are several insights in this book, but one of Mr. Krishna’s more important is that, as he writes, “poverty is not an undifferentiated mass living beneath some theoretical or statistical line.” It is, rather, a constantly churning pool of deprivation, with those who escape being replenished by a new population that has fallen from relative prosperity. 
In a 25-year study he conducted in Andhra Pradesh State, for example, Mr. Krishna found that while 14 percent of households escaped poverty, another 12 percent became poor. Overall, there was a 2 percent reduction in the poverty rate, but 26 percent of households had seen their status change.
In their microanalysis, the teams found out that the “poverty flow” is bi-directional - people climb out of poverty and fall into poverty all the time. Hence, to address poverty, policies have to protect for people at risk for falling into poverty and provide opportunities to climb out of poverty. Among the most common reasons people become poor are major life events like death or serious illness of wage earner, and illustrated in the book: “Thousands of households in every region studies have succumbed to poverty on account of a combination of ill-health, lack of access to qualified medical attention and high health care costs. Thousands of other people continue to live only one illness away from poverty”.
About the author. See a good interview here.  

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