Document Type

Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Embargo Period

5-15-2015

Degree Program

Resource Economics

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2015

Month Degree Awarded

May

Advisor Name

Sheila

Advisor Last Name

Mammen

Co-advisor Name

Daniel

Co-advisor Middle Initial

A.

Co-advisor Last Name

Lass

Abstract

This thesis derives an alternative subjective-objective poverty line (SPL) using self-reported qualitative assessments of perceived adequacy for different categories of consumption namely, food, housing and clothing. Modeling the probability of reporting that actual consumption in each category is adequate, I find that actual measures of consumption are highly significant predictors of perceived consumption adequacy. The perceived adequacy for different consumption components respond more elastically to spending on the corresponding category of goods than to that on other types. The results suggest that the implied subjective poverty lines and regional profiles are different from those predicted by popular objective methods.

This thesis also estimates the effects of human capital, employment and basic facilities on household poverty status in Nepal. Delving into this topic seems very policy relevant for the country, where there is a huge need of public education and unemployment insurance programs. To investigate this causal relationship, I use the Living Standards Measurement Survey Data for the year 2010/11, which includes information on past and present educational attainment, current employment, and availability and status of infrastructure in different communities of the country. I find that higher educational attainment, employment and improved perceived status of public amenities contribute to higher subjective wellbeing and reduced likelihood of poverty, controlling for value of assets owned, socio-demographic attributes and geographic location.

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