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The Political Economy of Hunger: Volume 3: Endemic Hunger$
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Jean Drèze and Amartya Sen

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198286370

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198286370.001.0001

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The Elimination of Endemic Poverty in South Asia *

The Elimination of Endemic Poverty in South Asia *

Some Policy Options

(p.347) 10 The Elimination of Endemic Poverty in South Asia*
The Political Economy of Hunger: Volume 3: Endemic Hunger

Kaushik Basu

Oxford University Press

This chapter evaluates policies for combating persistent and mass poverty, with empirical illustrations from the experiences of some South Asian countries. It argues that direct action is possible and even desirable, and that different policy options are available for achieving higher growth and greater equity. The chapter scrutinizes various poverty alleviation programmes, many of which failed but are promising if effectively planned and implemented. To design an efficacious anti-poverty policy, it is essential to evaluate the whole package of several schemes together. The success of direct action programmes depends greatly on their political background. It is argued that political constraints are not only difficult to overcome but also difficult to understand.

Keywords:   direct action, trickle down, basic needs program, food-for-work, political constraints

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