Poverty Changes in Cameroon over the 1996-2007 Period

Poverty Changes in Cameroon over the 1996-2007 Period

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Author(s): Samuel Fambon

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DOI: 10.18483/ijSci.1241 266 639 48-64 Volume 6 - Apr 2017


This study examines changes in the extent of poverty in Cameroon during the period 1996-2007. More specifically, it investigates the determinants of poverty as well as the contributions of growth and redistribution factors to changes in poverty over a period of 12 years going from 1996 to 2007. The analysis is based on data gathered at the household level by three consecutive household surveys that were conducted in 1996, 2001 and 2007 respectively. The results of the study show that over a period of 12 years, the extent of poverty decreased by more than half in the urban area, while in the rural area, it fell first between 1996 and 2001, and then increased from 50% in 2001 to 55% in 2007. This alarming rate of increase in poverty in the rural area requires a greater attention of the government which should initiate efficient poverty reduction programs. The study also reveals that human and social resources, as well as physical capital, household size, the occupation and the residence region are the main determinants of poverty. Lastly, the decomposition of changes in poverty into growth and redistribution components indicates that during the sub-period 1996-2001, growth and redistribution contributed to the reduction of urban poverty, whereas redistribution almost did not have any impact on the reduction of rural poverty. On the other hand, over the sub-period 2001-2007, the reduction of poverty in the urban area is mainly explained by the effects of growth and redistribution, while in the rural area, the increase in poverty is essentially explained by the unfavourable growth effect. The implications of the results of the study for a pro-poor policy are discussed.


Poverty, determinants, growth, redistribution, Cameroon


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