FACTS REPORTS

Fighting Poverty, between market and gift - Special issue 4 (2012)

 

 

► The constant interplay between market and solidarity

 

The influence of the market on household survival strategies in preindustrial Europe

Abstract: After underlining the fact that poverty was a constant threat for 70 to 80 % of the population of pre-industrial Europe, the paper highlights the role played by the market in household survival strategies. It then examines the way in which informal finance provided the capital required for entry into the market and shows that the common people, and women in particular, were actors in the system, as borrowers, as lenders, and as intermediaries. 

Keywords: survival strategiespre-industrial Europewomeninformal finance,exclusion from the market
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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How we see poverty

Abstract: How we think about poverty is colored by how we measure it. For economists, that often means seeing poverty through quantities measured in large, representative surveys.  The surveys give a comprehensive view, but favor breadth over depth. Typical economic surveys are limited in their ability to tease out informal activity, and, while they capture yearly sums, they offer little about how the year was actually lived by families.

Keywords: microfinancePoverty linesfinancial accessconsumption smoothing,financial diaries
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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The Poverty Penalty in France: How the Market Makes Low-Income Populations Poorer

Abstract: What has come to be known as the poverty penalty – the additional cost paid for goods and services by the poor relative to the more affluent – is a familiar mechanism in emerging countries. For profoundly different reasons, however, poor people in developed countries also suffer from the poverty penalty. Quite naturally, without any particular ill will on the part of the actors in the commercial sector, the market sometimes penalizes the poor by making them pay more than other households, per unit of consumption, for the same goods and services.

Keywords: poverty in developed countriespoverty penaltydouble jeopardysocial business
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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► New solidarity-based approaches to fight poverty



 

The Price is Wrong

Abstract: Charging small fees dramatically reduces access to important products for the poor. Relative to free distribution, charging even very small user fees substantially reduces adoption. There is no evidence that the act of paying for a product makes a recipient more likely to use it. In general, cost-sharing does not appear to concentrate adoption on those who need products most. Receiving a product for free can even increase willingness to pay for it later. There may be other reasons to charge.
 
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services
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Aid is dead. Long live aid!

Abstract: The concepts, targets, tools, institutions and modes of operation of official development assistance have been overtaken by the pace of change in a world marked by the combined momentum of demography, technology and economic growth.
Aid can however recover, as social consequences of the globalization call for new forms of regulation. It will then be necessary to modify and diversify our target-setting processes, to update operating procedures, and to find better ways of measuring policy implementation. 

Keywords: official development assistancepublic policy evaluationMillennium Development Goals
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Bolsa Família (Family Grant) Programme: an analysis of Brazilian income transfer programme

Abstract: Income transfer programmes are common in various countries and play an important role in combating poverty. This article presents a review of the results of the Bolsa Família (Family Grant) Programme, implemented in Brazil by the government of Lula da Silva in 2004. Over the last seven years many evaluations of the programme have been conducted, allowing an overview of its results and its strong and weak points to be mapped. 

Keywords: Bolsa Família (Family Grant) ProgrammeIncome TransferEvaluation of Results
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Health in Africa: what can France and Europe do about it?

Abstract: Africa is the continent where the social and health situation is of greatest concern, and where progress on the Millennium Development Goals is the slowest. Access to global assistance for health is complex, as it is channeled through new funding mechanisms: global public-private partnerships or “innovative” financing. 

Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services
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Enabling the maximum number of people to access essential services will not be possible without private sector involvement and appropriate pricing of the services concerned

Abstract: Private sector provision of basic services (water, energy, financial services and housing) for people in developing countries is a necessity if we really want to try to curb poverty. However, ‘traditional’ private funding is not spontaneously directed towards these sectors, largely as a result of rejecting the idea that poor population groups should ‘pay’ for essential services; an issue that has often been the subject of opposition campaigns mounted by social stakeholders.

Keywords: bottom of the pyramidmicrofinancePPPEssential servicespricing,waterenergypublic-private partnershipscost of riskrisk rating
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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► Innovative Market-based solutions to fight poverty

 

The private sector and the fight against poverty

Abstract: The fight against poverty is inextricably bound up with ecological issues. There is no shortage of global threats, from the environmental and social effects of climate warming to the decline in available freshwater per person or the growing scarcity of natural resources (fossil energy reserves, of course, but also rare earths and metals).

Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services


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Social Business and big business: innovative, promising solutions to overcome poverty?

Abstract: Do big businesses have to play a role on their own in poverty alleviation? And if so, what are the means of action they are able and eager to implement? For decades, eradicating poverty has been a challenge tackled by public interventions, international development organizations, NGOs. Since the question raised about corporate responsibility, there have been more and more integrated initiatives aiming at reducing social and environmental negative impact of a company.

Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Community Cleaning Services: combining market- and donor-based approaches to urban sanitation and youth engagement

Abstract: This paper sets out to analyse the three phases in the growth of the Community Cleaning Service initiative, sponsored by SC Johnson in the slums of Nairobi. After the launch of the BoP Protocol™, followed by the development of a micro-franchise system, CCS has become an independent non-profit social enterprise. In each of these three phases, the paper describes the complex relationships that develop – for the enterprise and for its micro-franchisees – between aid and the market.

Keywords: BoPcleaning servicesocial enterprisesanitation
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Action alliances: making society’s challenges a source of creation, innovation and transformation

Abstract: The relationship between the economy and the other spheres of society is changing radically, and along with it, expressions of solidarity and forms of engagement. Among these, alliances between heterogeneous actors (companies, NGOs and “social businesses”, government agencies, Internet actors, etc.) allow for greater fairness and effectiveness in addressing the major issues facing the world.

Keywords: innovationAlliancestransformationEuropeClinton Global Initiative,The European Networkhybridizationsocietal commitmentco-creation
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Back to Business Fundamentals: Making “Bottom of the Pyramid” Relevant to Core Business

Abstract: Over the last half-decade, corporate interest in Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) — strategies for profitably serving the world’s lowest income consumers—has dropped precipitously or migrated to the CSR (i.e., philanthropic) side of the business. We contend that these trends stem from a fundamental misalignment generated when BOP is framed and managed as a market-based solution to poverty alleviation rather than an internally competitive investment opportunity.

Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Doing Business at the Base of the Pyramid: The Reality of Emerging Markets

Abstract: The role of business has traditionally been ignored in the global debates around economic development and poverty alleviation.  The recent global success of the mobile telephony industry, and the rapid growth in emerging markets over the last two decades has, however, forced a rethink. Instead of top-down, development aid-driven strategies, more discussions now focus on providing goods and services profitably to the base of the economic pyramid (BOP), like mobile phone companies have.

Keywords: entrepreneurshipbase of the pyramidbusiness and povertysmall and medium size enterprises
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Position papers

 

Measuring Poverty in order to Eradicate It

Abstract: In 2000, the UN established its Millennium Development Goals, with the notable aim of halving extreme poverty by 2015. That same year, the European Union launched its Lisbon strategy, containing an injunction to “make a decisive impact on the eradication of poverty by 2010”. Since 2007, France has set a national target of reducing poverty by one third over five years. These proactive policies call, in all three cases, for technical elucidation to define and describe poverty.

Keywords: FrancepovertyEuropean UnionUNMDGindicators
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Donating is a market (of debt)

Abstract: Starting out from a rereading of Marcel Mauss’s groundbreaking study “The Gift” (1924) and its successive reworkings by Levi-Strauss and Bourdieu, and drawing on fieldwork from Africa, this paper proposes another interpretation of the phenomenon of gift-giving as a central modality for the circulation of goods and wealth in community-based societies. 

Keywords: GiftMarcel Maussdebt
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Poverty through the Prism of the Law

Abstract: The normative dimension of the notion of poverty, and its embedding in the long history of cultures, is largely overlooked in contemporary political discourse. Legal analysis shows, however, that two opposing conceptions of poverty continue to do battle: one sees poverty as a social scourge, whose effects – but not its causes – can be counteracted; the other sees it as the manifestation of a social injustice which must be tackled at the root.

Keywords: religionpovertysolidarityglobalizationsocial law
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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Altruity: Key to the Fight Against Poverty

Abstract: This paper presents the concept of altruity and illustrates its philosophical and practical importance in the fight against poverty. Altruity –a highly specific form of rational altruism– is the duty that comes with freedom. The individual duty of altruity is the necessary counterpart of the right to individual freedoms. It is, by its very nature, distinct from (though complementary to) generosity, and devoid of any expectation of reciprocity (while not excluding it).

Keywords: povertyField actionaltruitysocial justiceliberalismfreedom
Thematic: Poverty and access to Essential Services

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