Vulnerability and Poverty Traps

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RESEARCH PROPOSAL
MRES. IN ECONOMICS PROGRAMME
THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER – SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

By Vicente Adrian Rivera-Garcia

1. OVERVIEW OF THE RESEARCH.

The title of my Master in Research dissertation will be the following: “A Comprehensive Assessment of the Urban Poverty in Mexico: Measuring Vulnerability and Risk”

The purpose of this research will be to study the nature of urban poverty and vulnerability in the urban Mexico. I will apply the theoretical framework, methodological tools and quantitative techniques of the analysis of vulnerability. Specifically, this project will undertake three tasks: 1) it will measure regional vulnerability by estimating vulnerability of the Mexican states; 2) it will estimate the level of vulnerability of urban Mexican households according to socio-demographic characteristics; and 3) it will identify the sources of covariate and idiosyncratic risks of the urban households, with special attention to health and crime related shocks in the last six years. I will measure the effects these shocks have caused on the level of income of the households.

The research questions of this paper are intended to unveil the size and deepness of vulnerability of urban areas and states and also look to identify the types of risks or shocks that vulnerable households have experienced in the past six years. Thus, the specific questions I want to address are: 1. What is the level of vulnerability of the different Mexican states? What are the characteristics of the urban households that belong to the states with the highest levels of vulnerability? Are the poorest states necessarily the most vulnerable? 2. What has been the evolution of the level of vulnerability faced by urban households during the last six years? 3. What is the impact of health, death and crime shocks in the level of vulnerability faced by urban households? 4. What kind of policy recommendations can be made in order to reduce the level of vulnerability in urban areas?

The period of analysis of this research (2005-2010) is especially important for Mexico because there has been an apparent deterioration of the well-being of middle classes, particularly in the urban areas, since President Calderon Administration started in December of 2006. So, by using short panel data from the National Survey of Occupation and Employment (ENOE), I will be able to assess the accuracy of such claims. Essentially, the panel data follows households in five consecutive quarters, so the measure of vulnerability and identification of risks are of the short-run type.

The tentative chapters of this research are as follows:

Chapter 1. Theoretical framework on vulnerability and risk: concepts, definitions and measures. Chapter 2. State and regional vulnerability.
Chapter 3. Types of risks: the role of health, death and crime shocks on vulnerability. Chapter 4. Policy recommendations.

Originally, my doctoral thesis has two broad areas of research for the case of urban Mexico: one is poverty traps and the second one is vulnerability. Ideally, this masters’ dissertation will complete a review of the state-of-the-art literature on concepts, measures and methodology of vulnerability to poverty, which will allow me to partly fulfill the theoretical side of the section on vulnerability issues. Also, it will permit me to calibrate a preliminary econometric model for measuring vulnerability for a longer period of time. The idea is to expand the estimation of vulnerability and impact of risks starting by the 2000 year in the doctoral investigation. I will also apply the model estimated in this dissertation to different databases to assess the sensitivity of the estimates to new data. In summary, this dissertation aims to achieve a significant progress of my doctoral thesis at least in one of its two general sections.

ESTO NO LO PUSE EN EL OUTLINE DE LA FORMA DE REVISION DEL PRIMER ANO DEL DOCTORADO...
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