Extreme Poverty, Growth and Inequality in Bangladesh

Paper: 978 1 85339 947 3 / $35.95
Published: April 2017  

Cloth: 978 1 85339 946 6 / $89.95
Published: September 2017  

Publisher: Practical Action
194 pp., 6 1/8" x 9 1/5"
Over the past two decades, Bangladesh has enjoyed impressive economic growth rates and is now poised to become an upper Middle Income Country. Over the same period, the country has made considerable progress in reducing official poverty levels and in meeting its MDG targets. Despite this success, Bangladesh still has a sizeable proportion of its population living in poverty or extreme poverty; and it continues to see levels of inequality steadily rising. Furthermore, Bangladesh remains one of the most climate-vulnerable countries in the world, with millions living in low-lying areas at risk from catastrophic flooding.

This book is unique in that it focuses on extreme poverty. It brings together contributions from both academics and policy makers to address fundamental questions such as what difference does it make if we talk of extreme poverty as opposed to other more moderate forms of poverty? Should we define and characterize extreme poverty in terms of per capita income, social exclusion, welfare entitlements, inter-generational transfers, employment opportunities, gender and within household dynamics, spatial variations and mobility? How does a focus on extreme poverty challenge policy making and decisions?

Bangladesh is on the brink of making real and sustainable in-roads on extreme poverty. To achieve this, it will need a new growth path that is more inclusive and re-distributive, and will have to introduce innovative policies that are nuanced, blended and sustained. The book draws on empirical data and evidence to identify key priorities that can inform policy able to engage with extreme poverty.

This book is essential reading for policy makers, civil society and donor staff, researchers and students from Bangladesh and beyond who are interested in understanding extreme poverty and how it can be eliminated.

Table of Contents:
1. Sharing the well: towards sustained eradication of extreme poverty in Bangladesh—Geof Wood and Joe Devine
2. Ending extreme poverty in Bangladesh: trends, drivers, and policies—Binayak Sen and Zulfiqar Ali
3. Leaving no one behind in Bangladesh: the case for a new political settlement—Joe Devine and Geof Wood
4. Guardianship and processes of change: the feminization of extreme poverty in Bangladesh—Mathilde Maîtrot
5. Financial exclusion and extreme poverty in Bangladesh—Mustafa K. Mujeri
6. Dynamics of regional poverty and real wages: policy implications for development interventions—Shamsul Alam and Kazi Iqbal
7. Agricultural commercialization and employment generation: implications for the extreme poor—K. A. S. Murshid
8. Urbanization and extreme poverty—Nazrul Islam
9. Reforming the social security system for poverty reduction—Sadiq Ahmed
10. Conclusion: sharing the well—Zulfiqar Ali and Geof Wood

Reviews & Endorsements:
"This book is indispensable for anyone engaged with the character and trajectories of extreme poverty and with the world's sustainable development goals."
- Barbara Harriss-White, Emeritus Professor of Development Studies, Wolfson College, Oxford
"Written by a group of uniquely qualified specialists, these essays offer valuable insights into how to address extreme poverty in a country that is rapidly becoming a success story."
- Santosh Mehrotra, Professor of Economis, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi