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One Illness Away: Why People Become Poor and How They Escape Poverty

One Illness Away: Why People Become Poor and How They Escape Poverty

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By (author) Anirudh Krishna

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 256 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 231mm x 14mm | 392g
  • Publication date: 11 August 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199693196
  • ISBN 13: 9780199693191
  • Illustrations note: 4 Figures, 17 Tables
  • Sales rank: 996,381

Product description

Why does poverty persist? A critical, but so far ignored, part of the answer lies in the fact that poverty is regularly created. Large numbers of people are escaping poverty, but large numbers are concurrently falling into chronic poverty. This book presents the first large-scale examination of the reasons why people fall into poverty and how they escape it in diverse contexts. Drawing upon personal interviews with 35,000 households in different parts of India, Kenya, Uganda, Peru, and the United States, it takes you on an illustrative journey, filled with facts, analyses, and the life stories of people who fell into abject poverty and others who managed to escape their seemingly predetermined fates. Letting a farmhand's son or daughter remain a farmhand, even though he or she is potentially the next Einstein, is a tragedy that poor people witness time after time. Remedying this situation is crucial for making poverty history. This book addresses how equal opportunity can be promoted and how slum-born millionaires can arise in reality. Speaking to Barack Obama's message for more effective health care, One Illness Away feeds directly into current public debates. Learning from thousands of individual experiences, this book presents a clear agenda for action and provides more effective ways of keeping people out of micro poverty traps.

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Author information

Anirudh Krishna holds a Ph.D. in Government (Cornell, 2000) and a Masters in Economics (Delhi, 1980). His research investigates how poor communities and individuals cope with the structural and personal constraints that result in poverty and powerlessness. Krishna is author or co-author of five books and more than 30 peer-reviewed articles. Before turning to academia in 1996, Krishna worked for 14 years in the Indian Administrative Service, where he managed diverse initiatives related to rural and urban development. His most recent research project, reported in this book and conducted over seven years between 2001 and 2008, examines household poverty dynamics in five countries. Krishna received the Dudley Seers Memorial Prize in 2005 for the initial work, which has also influenced future plans of diverse development organizations.

Review quote

[The book] incorporates ideas from both political theory and economics, but is much more engaged and practical than abstract approaches to conceptions of poverty or fiddling with numbers and metrics. Krishna also gives a human face to his account by including some short examples of individual life stories. One Illness Away offers a revealing perspective on poverty. It should have relevance and appeal to a broad audience, not just workers in development, economists, and other specialists. Danny Yee, Law and Economics Review

Table of contents

Preface ; 1. Refilling the Pool of Poverty ; 2. Poverty Flows ; 3. The Rising-Falling Tide ; 4. Reasons for Descent: The Health Poverty Trap ; 5. Reasons for Escape: Diversification and Agriculture ; 6. Connecting Capability with Opportunity: Investing in Information ; 7. A Two-Pronged Strategy: Protection and Opportunity ; Appendix: Measuring Poverty: Testing Stages-of-Progress