Middlebury

MiddLab

Poverty

A MiddLab Project

The Price Revolution

The origins of a general trend in Europe of rising prices between 1520 and 1640, labeled the Price Revolution, have been deeply contested by economic historians since the 1920s. The debate is divided between two major camps, stressing the importance of monetary and ‘real’ factors respectively. My paper provides a general overview of the literature since the 1920s. I identify the influence of parallel developments in economic thought on the debate. Further, using the same qualitative primary sources employed by previous works on the topic I construct a novel explanation for these rising prices, avoiding constraints presented by flawed/restricted data.

People

Anil Menon

Professor Paul Monod

 

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Brazil’s Bolsa Família program is a conditional cash transfer scheme that has been hailed for dramatically reducing poverty and inequality since its launch in 2003. Under the scheme, qualifying families receive a monthly stipend on the condition that they fulfill certain requirements in health and education. Although the Bolsa Família is a federal program, each of Brazil’s 5, 564 municipalities play an important role in its local implementation. Using a combination of regression analysis and four case studies from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, this study evaluates the impact of local government capacity on beneficiaries’ health and education. I find that municipalities with higher administrative capacity – more developed collaboration across sectors and more competent staff – are likely to be more effective in implementing the BFP, as observed by higher monitoring rates. As a result, the percentage of beneficiaries who comply with the program’s health and education requirements is likely to be higher in these municipalities. The paper concludes that local governments are critical actors in the success of this program and calls for policymakers to build administrative capacity through a combination of incentives and regulations.

 

People

Researcher: Pui Shen Yoong

Advisors: Professor Jessica Teets (Political Science),

Professor John Maluccio (Economics)

 

 

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Bolsa Familia (in Portuguese)

The Nuts and Bolts of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia Program: Implementing Conditional Cash Transfers in a Decentralized Context 

Avoiding Governors: The Success of Bolsa Familia

Buying Out the Poor? Bolsa Familia & the 2010 Elections in Brazil

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A MiddLab Project

Buying Out the Poor? Bolsa Familia and the 2010 Elections in Brazil

Learn more about Politics & Economics and Latin America at Middlebury College.

Hailed for reducing poverty and inequality in Brazil, the Bolsa Familia program (PBF) is the largest conditional cash transfer program in the world. Critics, however, have accused President Lula and his party of indirectly ‘buying’ the poor vote through the PBF. This research investigates the relationship between the PBF and the voting patterns of its recipients in the recent elections. Is the PBF an apolitical poverty reduction strategy? Does it influence the formation of political preferences? Based on interviews conducted in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, I focus on the beneficiaries’ own perception of the program, exploring the concepts of “ownership” and “clientelism” in social welfare.

People

Pui Shen Yoong
Researcher

Svea Closser
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Sociology & Anthropology

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Brazilian Press Coverage


Dilma atinge 40% entre participantes do Bolsa Família

Dilma diz que quer ser ‘mãe à altura’ dos brasileiros

Antes das eleições CEF erra e paga Bolsa Família maior

Prefeita relata prática de angraiar votos para Lula com programa federal

Plínio quer quadruplicar beneficiarios do Bolsa Familia e reduzir tempo do auxilio

Em Pernambuco Lula defende o Bolsa Familia

Norma do governo distribuída a prefeitos diz que próximo gestor pode mudar regras do Bolsa Família

Para PSDB, PT faz terrorismo com mensagem sobre recadastramento do Bolsa Familia. Governo nega acusão

No radio Serra garante continuidade do Bolsa Familia, Dilma fala sobre PAC

Em Santa Catarina, Marina diz que não fará ‘aventuras econômicas’ se for eleita

 

Despite unbelievable economic growth rates averaging between 8-10% in 2009 and bright economic prospects, China and India have become two of the largest contributors to world poverty. However, China has been able to alleviate more poverty than India. I believe that there are lessons to be learnt from China’s success. Thus, I will compare both nations and examine the impact of provincial politics (decentralization) on poverty alleviation to determine why China has been able to alleviate more poverty than India. Since China and India are populous, large countries, there is a strong presence of state-level political institutions, which guide policy implementation. I will, thus, examine the cases of Sichuan and Anhui in China and Kerala andBihar in India. The contrast between the success of Sichuan and Kerala and failures of Anhui and Bihar will provide insight on the impact of decentralization and effectiveness of policy implementation towards poverty alleviation.

People

Ruchi Singh
Researcher

Jessica Teets
Sponsor & Assistant Professor of Political Science

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In a January 2011 Winter Term Class, “Twenty-First Century Global Challenges,”  21 Middlebury students studied great challenges of our time – including wide-scale poverty, climate change, and the struggle for human rights. They then analyzed how social entrepreneurs – individuals and groups who are developing new ways to attack systematic problems – are taking on these challenges.  For example, Nina Cameron ’12 studied how the Global Network is trying to reduce the prevalence of neglected tropical diseases; Erin Kelly ’13 studied how the University of the Peopleis providing tuition-free higher-education throughout the developing world.  The students also spend much of the course developing a vision for a new center for social entrepreneurship based at Middlebury College.  On this MiddLab, we report the ongoing results of this work.

People

Jonathan Isham, Jr.
Professor of Economics

Wahid Ahmed
Catherine Brown
Nina Cameron
Brian Clow
Thomas Crocker
Matthew Engel
Stuart Fram
Allison Grant
Mark Hannah
Paul Hildebrand
Aaron Kelly
Claire McIlvennie
Olivia Noble
Bradley Osborn
Devin Perkins
Hilary Platt
Jeronimo Riefkohl
Martin Sweeney
Rhidaya Trivedi
Kenneth Williams
Nicole Williams

The Ripple Effect in India

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A MiddLab Project

American Poverty in Context: Understanding Social Determinants of Health

Learn more about Service Learning at Middlebury College.

Samantha Marder is the Program Manager of Project Health in Providence, RI.   Prior to joining the Project HEALTH staff team, Samantha worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rhode Island Department of Health as a Project Specialist with a focus on healthy and affordable housing. Hannah graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in sociology and continues her work with Project HEALTH after volunteering at the Family Help Desk at the Providence, RI site.

People

Samantha Marder

Project Manager, Project Health  Providence

Hannah Nichols

Talent and Technology Coordinator, Project Health National Offices

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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Robert E. Prasch is Professor of Economics at Middlebury College where he teaches Monetary Theory and Policy,
Macroeconomics, American Economic History, and the History of Economic Thought.  He is the author of over
90 academic articles, book chapters, and book reviews in addition to Op-Eds and interviews in several outlets
including The Burlington Free Press, The Huffington Post, VPR, and WBAI (New York City).

People

Robert Prasch

Professor of Economics

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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Ingrid Pixley is a long-time Vermont resident, working as a Property Manager for Addison County Community Trust,  a local non-profit organization that provides affordable housing to the low- and middle-income people of Addison County. Doug Sinclair’s the co-founder of the Middlebury Community Care Coalition (MCCC), which since 2004 has since grown to 600 members who contribute over 18,000 volunteer hours per year supporting the housing and food needs of families and individuals who need a helping hand.

People

Doug Sinclair

Co-Founder of Middlebury Community Care Coalition

Ingrid Pixley

Property Manager for Addison County Community Trust

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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A MiddLab Project

American Poverty in Context: Poverty 101

Learn more about Service Learning at Middlebury College.

In 1997, Dr. Beckley helped to create and became the first Director of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability, which integrates sustained rigorous academic study and focused direct service to disadvantaged communities and persons. In 1999, Dr. Beckley was named the Fletcher Otey Thomas Professor of Religion and in 2002 he received the state of Virginia’s highest award for excellence in education, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s Outstanding Faculty Award.

People

Harlan Beckley

Director of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability at Washington and Lee University

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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A MiddLab Project

American Poverty in Context: Community Action in New England

Learn more about Service Learning at Middlebury College.

Hal Colston is the founder and director of the Good News Garage. GNG was created to address transportation equity for people in poverty. Hal left the GNG in March 2004 to start a new nonprofit, NeighborKeepers – an inclusive community built that generate Circles of Support. Dr. Colston also teaches a community service course at Champlain College, and serves on the board of the HowardCenter, United Way Community Investment Committee, Vermont Health Foundation and the Visiting Nurse Association.

People

Hal Colston

Founder and Director of Good News Garage and Neighborskeepers

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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Chinese household registration policy classifies each citizen as either an urban or rural dweller. As China’s coastal urban economies began to rapidly develop in the late 19070s and 1980s, many rural dwellers migrated to cities in search of higher wages. These migrant laborers were not able to receive the services provided to urban dwellers by local city governments. Preliminary results show that employers are more likely to offer these types of increased compensation when they are located in more mature job markets where the supply of jobs exceeds demand.

People

Doug Shultz
Researcher

Anne Knowles
Associate Professor of Geography and Advisor

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October 21st- 29th will be the Fall Student Symposium, “American Poverty in Context.” We aim to build awareness and encourage discussion of poverty-related issues on the local and national level. The symposium will tackle issues such as hunger and local foods, social determinants of health, labor legislation, community action, and homelessness. In addition to inspiring intellectual discourse on poverty, we hope to motivate more students to participate in volunteer activities and to consider pursuing careers in non-profits.

Please click on the posters below in the downloads section for more detailed information about each event!

People

Joel Berg

Executive Director of the New York Coalition Against Hunger

Harlan Beckley

Director of the Shepherd Program for the Interdisciplinary Study of Poverty and Human Capability at Washington and Lee University

Robert Prasch

Middlebury College Professor of Economics

Samantha Marder

Project Manager, Project Health  Providence

Hannah Nichols

Talent and Technology Coordinator, Project Health National Offices

Hal Colston

Founder and Director of Good News Garage and Neighborskeepers

Doug Sinclair

Co-Founder of Middlebury Community Care Coalition

Ingrid Pixley

Property Manager for Addison County Community Trust

Jeanne Montross

Executive Director of HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects)

Yuan Lim

Student Organizer

Veronica Muoio

Student Organizer

Dan Murphy

Student Organizer

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Sites DOT Middlebury: the Middlebury site network.