Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #753

Understanding Poverty Dynamics in Rwanda

by Alfred Bizoza, Phillip Jäger and Alexandre Simons

RWI, 05/2018, 24 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-875-2 DOI: 10.4419/86788875



Poverty rates in Rwanda have fallen substantially in the last decades. So far, however, it is not well understood what has driven this poverty decline. Thus, in this paper, we rely on a newly available household panel dataset collected in 2010/11 and 2013/14 to investigate poverty and poverty trajectories in Rwanda. According to our estimates increased labor market participation among originally poor households – especially off-farm employment – has facilitated poverty escape. Even though overall poverty rates have declined, our analysis reveals that a non-negligible part of originally nonpoor households have fallen below the poverty line between the two survey waves. The estimates suggest that lower educated households are more vulnerable of becoming impoverished.

JEL-Classification: I32

Keywords: Poverty; Rwanda; EICV