Dynamics of Multi-Dimensional Poverty Among Children in Ethiopia:


Evidence Using Longitudinal Data of Children from the Young Lives Study


Recognizing the many aspects of children’s well-being, this study assesses the extent of multiple, overlapping deprivations and explores how the different dimensions interact to affect the overall well-being of children. The study builds on the multidimensional nature of children’s well-being to develop an indicator for the dynamics of poverty. It investigates the different aspects of poverty and its transitions.

The study adopts the Multiple Overlapping Deprivations Analysis (MODA) method to develop a multidimensional well-being indicator using the four rounds of data from the Young Lives study collected from 3,000 children from 2002 to 2013 in four regions and Addis Ababa. The study uses econometric methods and qualitative analysis to identify factors associated with the multiple overlapping deprivations of children. The results of the analysis show that the amount of education in a household decreased the deprivation of children. Children living in urban areas were found to be less deprived than children in rural areas. On the other hand, children whose households have experienced idiosyncratic shocks such as death of livestock or the loss of employment are worse off than children coming from households that have not had such an experience. Some of the household composition variables were also found to increase multiple overlapping deprivations. The size of land owned by households and credit also has an effect.

The study showed that a higher human capital endowment reduces the probability of transient poverty or chronic poverty. Moreover, children coming from a household that has experienced illness of a member were also found to have greater probability of being in the two poverty transition categories. The results of the study indicate there should be a focus on the household human capital endowment, particularly education, which is found to reduce children’s experience of overlapping deprivations and the persistence of poverty. A long term plan to increase the education endowment of households will help improve children’s well-being. The effect of socio-economic shocks on children’s deprivations and poverty transitions also calls for increased access to insurance schemes to shield children from declines in well-being.

Tassew Woldehanna, Adiam Hagos and Yisak Tafere 

April 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


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