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Getting stuck, falling behind or moving forward: rural livelihood movements and persistence in Nepal

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Research on household livelihood dynamics is central to rural poverty reduction. In this paper, we adopt a three-wave panel dataset to explore the persistence of and transitions in household livelihoods in three districts of Nepal using duration and dynamic probit models. The results demonstrate that the livelihood strategies of rural households are dynamic: approximately 16 per cent of the sample households transitioned up to high-remunerative livelihood strategies, 10 per cent of the households shifted down to either low- or medium-remunerative livelihood strategies, and 69 per cent remained trapped in low-remunerative livelihood strategies. The major upward transition occurred from medium-remunerative strategies to high-remunerative strategies (14 per cent). Overall, 70 per cent of the households persisted in one of the three livelihood strategies, and the remaining 30 per cent changed their strategy at least once. This dynamic is associated with the households’ duration in a particular livelihood strategy and the various characteristics of households and household heads. Understanding livelihood movement, livelihood persistence and the associated covariates and targeting the poor on this basis is crucial to combating rural poverty and dismantling poverty traps. To this end, the present study suggests (i) strengthening physical and financial asset endowments to address low-remunerative strategies, (ii) improving infrastructure connectivity, particularly in remote and inaccessible areas, (iii) insuring against shocks, iv) enhancing opportunities for generating remittances and enabling petty trade, and (v) supporting the establishment of business ventures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLand Use Policy
Pages (from-to)294–307
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2017

ID: 176868489