The dynamics of poverty transitions in Mexico

Jennifer Fernández-Ramos, Ana K. Garcia-Guerra, Jorge Garza-Rodriguez, Gabriela Morales-Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: More than half of the Mexican population lives in poverty. While there are many studies about poverty in Mexico, there are very few about the dynamics of poverty. The purpose of this paper is to measure chronic and transient poverty in Mexico and to analyze its determinants. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the spells approach, a transition matrix was estimated and a multinomial logistic regression analysis was conducted to investigate the effects of various socioeconomic and demographic variables upon the dynamics of poverty. Findings: It was found that 36 percent of households are chronically poor and 64 percent are transiently poor. The results show that variables directly related to chronic poverty are belonging to an ethnic minority group, living in a rural area, a large family size, having a high percentage of older adults and children in the household and having a female household head. Having more education, having more assets, the age of the household head and having access to potable water and electricity in the household are variables positively related with the probability of escaping poverty. Originality/value: To the authors knowledge, this is the first study on the dynamics of poverty using the spells approach for Mexico as a whole, not just for urban areas. The value of this work is that it estimates chronic and transitory poverty in Mexico as well as their possible determinants. The study findings can be used by the government to design and implement public policies to alleviate both chronic and transient poverty in Mexico.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1095
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Social Economics
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Social Sciences


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