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Microfinance and Financial Inclusion   
Moving out of Poverty
Volume 3—The Promise of Empowerment and Democracy in India
Deepa Narayan (ed.)
Published for the World Bank
by Academic Foundation.

Paperback Book (6 × 9)  :   Pages : 500

2012  Edition   :   ISBN - 978-81-7188-957-0

Price : Rs. 795.00 (South Asia only)

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The Moving Out of Poverty series presents the results of new comparative research across more than 500 communities in 15 countries on how and why poor people move out of poverty. The findings lay the foundations for new policies that will promote inclusive growth and just societies, and move millions out of poverty.


“A rich person can plant a mango tree but the poor man can only plant a thorn bush.”

Women’s discussion group, Uttar Pradesh


Despite unprecedented growth in recent years, India has the largest number of poor people in the world. Moving Out of Poverty: The Promise of Empowerment and Democracy in India presents the experiences of poor people who have made it out of poverty. The study provides new insights on the processes and mechanisms that result in some poor people escaping poverty, while others remain stuck, and still others fall into poverty.

This book is a valuable resource for policy makers and practitioners studying India, and for those interested in poor peoples’ experiences and the political economy of poverty mobility.

“This is a truly innovative and pathbreaking study. Most studies of poverty simply ignore the fact that the poor exercise agency and find their own ways to not just cope with, but sometimes transcend, the limitations under which they are placed. Second, they ignore the institutional dimensions through which poor people are empowered. This study gives a vivid sense of the ways in which poverty is negotiated. It is methodologically pluralist. It uses the tools of social science but allows the voices of poor people to come through; it draws our attention to the different mechanisms by which the agency of the poor is enhanced or thwarted, and it gives a complex account of the relationship between poverty and democracy. But most importantly it places the lives of the poor, not the abstractions of policy, at the center of its attention. The study is rich, full of insights, and will inspire tremendous discussion.”


President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research,
New Delhi, India


“In discussions of poverty, too often we hear the voices of economists and sociologists rather than of poor people. Deepa Narayan initiated a breakthrough on this front in her seminal Voices of the Poor series some years ago. She now follows up with Moving Out of Poverty, which again uses the voices of people to identify ways and conditions in which poor people in various Indian states have moved out of poverty. These provide a richer analyses and important insights.”


Consulting Editor, Economic Times, India; Columnist,
Times of India; and Research Fellow, Cato Institute


“Reading Deepa Narayan’s work is an experience. All of a sudden you are in the midst of real people, the poor, the destitute, and those who have come out of poverty. You get involved with their debates, arguing with them, approving or disagreeing with the points made by them. How far can individual agency go, and do policies for collective action make a basic difference? The development discourse becomes totally engaging.“


Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, India, and Chairman,
National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector, Government of India

About the contributors:








Map of India

1 Moving Out of Poverty in India: An Overview

Deepa Narayan, Binayak Sen, and Katy Hull

2 Assets Gained and Lost: Understanding Mobility through Life Stories

Deepa Narayan, Denis Nikitin, and Brice Richard

3 Communities Where Poor People Prosper

Deepa Narayan, Patti Petesch, and Saumik Paul

4 Caste Dynamics and Mobility in Uttar Pradesh

Soumya Kapoor, Deepa Narayan, Saumik Paul, and Nina Badgaiyan

5 People’s Organizations and Poverty Escapes in Rural Andhra Pradesh

Deepa Narayan, Giovanna Prennushi, and Soumya Kapoor

6 Politics of the Middle Path: Agrarian Reform and Poverty Dynamics in West Bengal

Klaus Deininger, Deepa Narayan, and Binayak Sen

7 Who Benefits from Conflict? Some Evidence from Assam

Deepa Narayan, Binayak Sen, and Ashutosh Varshney


Appendix 1 Technical Note on Household Regressions

Appendix 2 Data Collection Methods

Appendix 3 List of Variables for Household Regressions

Appendix 4 Weights for the PCA-Constructed Indexes, by State


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