Cours 2017-2018

Poverty and livelihood strategies [ECONM825]

  • 4 crédits
  • 30h
  • 1er quadrimestre
Langue d'enseignement: Anglais / English

Acquis d'apprentissage

This class has two main objectives. The first objective is that students clearly understand the content and limits of common measures of poverty and inequality. The second objective is to apply microeconomic reasoning to the analysis of functional aspects of poverty. The class puts emphasis on the application of the concepts and methods presented in class by asking students to complete three homeworks that use real world microlevel data during the semester.


The class is structured along two axes. The first is about the concept of poverty. We will study definitions and measures, look at poverty in an historical perspective and examine an increasingly popular anti-poverty program, namely conditional cash transfers. The second axis concerns the mechanisms that are at the root of poverty and its reproduction. We use microeconomic tools to understand why some individuals are poor, stay poor and transmit poverty to their children. Specifically we first examine gender inequality and resource allocation within households, in particular in the presence of risk. Second, we study the consequences of missing markets on rural households. In particular we examine how the absence of key markets affects production and consumption decisions made by farmers. Finally, we study the role of credit and savings in poverty alleviation and ask whether microfinance can be seen as a "revolution."

Méthodes d'enseignement

Formal lectures, discussion and homeworks.

Mode d'évaluation

Final grades are based on homeworks and a final exam.

Sources, références et supports éventuels

A bibliography is made available on the first day of lecture.

Langue d'enseignement

Anglais / English

Lieu de l'activité


Faculté organisatrice

Faculté des sciences économiques, sociales et de gestion
Rue de Bruxelles, 61
5000 NAMUR


Etudes de 2ème cycle