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Poverty, Income Inequality, and Irrigation Development: Longitudinal Evidence from Palawan, Philippines

We measure the impacts of irrigation development on poverty and income inequality in a frontier region of the Philippines. Using household panel data we measure changes in standard poverty measures and income inequality over the period 1995–2002. We make comparisons within the beneficiary community and between the beneficiary community and an adjacent community that, while not affected directly by irrigation services, was indirectly affected through expanded labor market opportunities arising from irrigation. Results of the analyses, including poverty and inequality decompositions, suggest lowland irrigation development led to reduced income inequality and lower rates of poverty in the lowland community, reduced inequality and lower rates of poverty for the group of upland households who participated in off-farm work on irrigated lowland farms, and higher overall income inequality between the lowland and upland communities.

Vol. 12 No. 1, June 2015

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