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Base project 1:

Vulnerability and household dynamics: Conceptual and empirical issues for Thailand and Vietnam

Stephan Klasen (University of Göttingen)

Summary

Traditional poverty assessments, which can only present a static picture of poverty, often miss dynamic aspects of the situation. Research in economic development is, therefore, rapidly moving beyond static poverty measures to include aspects of risks, shocks, and vulnerability. This effort has lead to numerous definitions and measurements focusing on different dimensions of vulnerability, which have been applied in various empirical settings. What is largely missing is a comprehensive comparative analysis of the existing definitions and methods that would allow the development of conceptually sound and empirically relevant measures. The major objective of this project is to work towards the development of sound and empirically tractable measures of vulnerability that also take into account the endogeneity of household structures as well as intra-household dynamics. This work will, first of all, provide an input to design a specialized household survey that allows for a better analysis of vulnerability than that from currently available surveys. Here, the role of changing household structure and intra-household dynamics on vulnerability to poverty will be a specific focus of the empirical work. Furthermore, the output of this project will form an important basis for the work of other projects within the research unit, which focus on specific aspects and countries.