Poverty Essay for Students and Children


500+ Words Essay on Poverty Essay

“Poverty is the worst form of violence”. – Mahatma Gandhi.

poverty essay

How Poverty is Measured?

For measuring poverty United nations have devised two measures of poverty – Absolute & relative poverty.  Absolute poverty is used to measure poverty in developing countries like India. Relative poverty is used to measure poverty in developed countries like the USA. In absolute poverty, a line based on the minimum level of income has been created & is called a poverty line.  If per day income of a family is below this level, then it is poor or below the poverty line. If per day income of a family is above this level, then it is non-poor or above the poverty line. In India, the new poverty line is  Rs 32 in rural areas and Rs 47 in urban areas.

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Causes of Poverty

According to the Noble prize winner South African leader, Nelson Mandela – “Poverty is not natural, it is manmade”. The above statement is true as the causes of poverty are generally man-made. There are various causes of poverty but the most important is population. Rising population is putting the burden on the resources & budget of countries. Governments are finding difficult to provide food, shelter & employment to the rising population.

The other causes are- lack of education, war, natural disaster, lack of employment, lack of infrastructure, political instability, etc. For instance- lack of employment opportunities makes a person jobless & he is not able to earn enough to fulfill the basic necessities of his family & becomes poor. Lack of education compels a person for less paying jobs & it makes him poorer. Lack of infrastructure means there are no industries, banks, etc. in a country resulting in lack of employment opportunities. Natural disasters like flood, earthquake also contribute to poverty.

In some countries, especially African countries like Somalia, a long period of civil war has made poverty widespread. This is because all the resources & money is being spent in war instead of public welfare. Countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. are prone to natural disasters like cyclone, etc. These disasters occur every year causing poverty to rise.

Ill Effects of Poverty

Poverty affects the life of a poor family. A poor person is not able to take proper food & nutrition &his capacity to work reduces. Reduced capacity to work further reduces his income, making him poorer. Children from poor family never get proper schooling & proper nutrition. They have to work to support their family & this destroys their childhood. Some of them may also involve in crimes like theft, murder, robbery, etc. A poor person remains uneducated & is forced to live under unhygienic conditions in slums. There are no proper sanitation & drinking water facility in slums & he falls ill often &  his health deteriorates. A poor person generally dies an early death. So, all social evils are related to poverty.

Government Schemes to Remove Poverty

The government of India also took several measures to eradicate poverty from India. Some of them are – creating employment opportunities , controlling population, etc. In India, about 60% of the population is still dependent on agriculture for its livelihood. Government has taken certain measures to promote agriculture in India. The government constructed certain dams & canals in our country to provide easy availability of water for irrigation. Government has also taken steps for the cheap availability of seeds & farming equipment to promote agriculture. Government is also promoting farming of cash crops like cotton, instead of food crops. In cities, the government is promoting industrialization to create more jobs. Government has also opened  ‘Ration shops’. Other measures include providing free & compulsory education for children up to 14 years of age, scholarship to deserving students from a poor background, providing subsidized houses to poor people, etc.

Poverty is a social evil, we can also contribute to control it. For example- we can simply donate old clothes to poor people, we can also sponsor the education of a poor child or we can utilize our free time by teaching poor students. Remember before wasting food, somebody is still sleeping hungry.


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Essays in Poverty and Political Economy

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Poverty and Economic Inequality


Poverty and economic inequality are complex issues that continue to be prevalent in many parts of the world, even in countries where economies are expanding. The gap between the wealthy and the poor continues to widen, which has negative consequences for individuals, communities, and society (Gornick, 2022). It is crucial to understand the root causes of poverty, including limited access to education and employment opportunities, and to implement policies that promote income equality and distribute wealth more equitably. In particular, poverty and economic inequality disproportionately impact marginalized communities, such as women, people of color, and indigenous peoples (Gornick, 2022). These populations are often more likely to experience poverty, be denied access to essential services and resources, and be subjected to discrimination and mistreatment. The World Bank’s report, “The State of the World’s Poor,” reveals that over 700 million people lived in severe poverty in 2013, with most of the poor residing in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa (Gornick, 2022). The report also shows that inequality has grown in several countries, with the top 10% of the population earning 11 times more than the poorest 40% (Gornick, 2022). Despite progress in reducing poverty in some countries, poverty and economic inequality remain pervasive problems globally, and it is crucial to understand the root causes, including limited access to education and employment opportunities, and implement policies that promote income equality and distribute wealth more equitably to address this issue (Kuhn et al., 2020). Therefore, poverty and economic inequality have been a problem in the United States for centuries, with the issue’s roots stretching back to colonial times. The first great wave of poverty and inequality in the United States occurred during the Industrial Revolution when the country experienced dramatic economic growth but, with it, a growing divide between the wealthy and the poor (Kuhn et al., 2020). As the Industrial Revolution continued, massive waves of immigrants from Europe and other parts of the world arrived in the United States in search of better economic opportunities (Kuhn et al., 2020). The influx of new immigrants created intense competition for jobs and resources, leading to increased economic inequality. In the early 20th century, the United States saw the emergence of a powerful labor movement that sought to improve the wages and working conditions of working-class Americans (Kuhn et al., 2020). Despite the labor movement’s efforts, wages and working conditions for the poor remained far below those of the wealthy. In the 1950s and 1960s, the United States experienced a period of economic growth, accompanied by a dramatic reduction in poverty and inequality (Kuhn et al., 2020). However, this period of growth was short-lived, as the late 1970s saw a resurgence of inequality as the economy began to decline in the decades since poverty and economic inequality became entrenched in the United States. It has become increasingly difficult for those born into poverty to escape it as the cost of living, and education continues to rise. It has created a cycle of poverty and inequality that is difficult to break. Poverty and economic inequality continue to be major problems in the United States, and the effects are felt in virtually every area of life. Economic inequality exacerbates existing racial and gender disparities, leaving some communities without access to necessities such as housing, education, and healthcare (Kuhn et al., 2020). It also reduces economic mobility, making it harder for individuals to climb the economic ladder and achieve success. The paper entails an argumentative essay that presents research relating the critical thinker to the modern, globalized world, focusing on poverty and economic inequality in the country, providing various perspectives from disciplines and researchers.

Perspective from various disciplines

Economists view poverty and economic inequality as a failure of the market system and an indication of a lack of economic opportunity (Lunstrum & Givá, 2020). They advocate for policies that increase economic growth, reduce taxes, and create jobs. Sociologists focus on the structural factors contributing to poverty and economic inequality, such as racism, sexism, and classism (Obayelu & Edewor, 2022). They argue that these structural factors must be addressed to reduce or eliminate poverty and economic inequality. Political scientists focus on the political factors contributing to poverty and economic inequality, such as laws and policies that favor the wealthy and powerful (Piff et al., 2020). They argue that these laws and policies must be changed to address poverty and economic inequality (Piff et al., 2020). Philosophers focus on poverty and economic inequality’s ethical and moral implications (Obayelu & Edewor, 2022). They argue that it is unjust and immoral for some people to have so much while others have so little. Anthropologists focus on the cultural factors that contribute to poverty and economic inequality, such as customs, beliefs, and values (Lunstrum & Givá 2020). They argue that these cultural factors must be addressed to reduce or eliminate poverty and economic inequality.

My proposed solution to poverty and economic inequality is implementing a universal basic income (UBI). A UBI is an economic system in which all citizens receive a regular, unconditional sum of money, regardless of their income level or employment status. By providing a regular, unconditional income to individuals, a UBI will help to reduce the economic disparities between the rich and the poor, as well as help to reduce the overall burden of poverty in society. From an economic perspective, a UBI can help to stimulate the economy by providing individuals with additional funds to spend on goods and services (Lunstrum & Givá, 2020). The, in turn, could result in a greater demand for goods and services, which could create new job opportunities and help to reduce unemployment. Therefore, by helping to alleviate the financial pressure on low-income families, a UBI could help to reduce the overall burden of debt and make it easier for those families to access credit, allowing them to make larger purchases such as a home or a car. From a social perspective, a UBI could help to reduce poverty-related social issues, such as crime and poor health outcomes (Lunstrum & Givá, 2020). By providing individuals with a reliable source of income, they would be more likely to invest in their education and skills, which could lead to better job opportunities. The extra income could help to reduce the burden of poverty on families and allow them to access better health care and nutrition, leading to improved overall health outcomes. However, from a political perspective, a UBI could help to reduce the burden of poverty on the government (Piff et al., 2020). By providing individuals with a regular income, the government could reduce its spending on welfare programs and social services, freeing up funds for other important initiatives. UBI could help to increase voter turnout, as individuals would have more disposable income to invest in their communities and participate in the political process.

Based on an environmental perspective, a UBI could help reduce resource overconsumption. By providing individuals with a regular income, they would be more likely to make more sustainable purchasing decisions and invest in renewable energy sources. It could reduce the overall environmental impact of consumption and help create new job opportunities in the renewable energy industry. Also, from a cultural perspective, a UBI could help to reduce economic inequality and promote social cohesion. Providing individuals with a reliable source of income would make it easier for them to access cultural activities and participate in their communities. It could lead to a greater appreciation for diversity and the

Annotated Bibliography

De Haan, J., & Sturm, J. E. (2017). Finance and income inequality: A review and new evidence.  European Journal of Political Economy ,  50 , 171-195.

In this study, De Haan and Sturm (2017) investigate how economics contributes to social stratification differences in disposable income. After reviewing the relevant literature, the authors thoroughly summarize the current empirical findings. The authors then provide fresh data from their studies to support the claim that financial factors significantly contribute to income disparity. They discovered that the highest earners, those in the top 10% of the income distribution, were the ones who benefited the most from more accessible access to financial resources. On the other side, research shows that lower incomes and more significant income disparity are linked to restricted access to financing. The authors also conclude that although financial development contributes to economic expansion, the advantages of this expansion are not shared equally. Instead, the rich disproportionately enjoy the advantages, contributing to growing economic disparity. The authors argue that measures to increase access to credit for low-income people are necessary to reduce poverty and economic inequality. Possible measures include promoting financial literacy, expanding access to credit, and launching new avenues for saving and investing. De Haan and Sturm’s (2017) results are consistent with earlier research that has revealed a significant correlation between financial factors and income disparity. Their essay, however, offers fresh and compelling evidence that tackling the link between money and inequality is crucial for ending poverty and fostering broadly shared economic growth.

Bourguignon, F. (2018). The world changes in inequality: An overview of facts, causes, consequences, and policies.  CESifo Economic Studies ,  64 (3), 345-370.

The paper by Bourguignon offers a wide-ranging survey of global inequality as it is now. The article first lays out inequality’s history, geographic distribution, and constituent diversity. The article explores the root reasons for inequality, including globalization’s influence, technological advancements, and government economic policies. The effects of inequality on poverty and health are also analyzed, as are the repercussions of inequality on economic development and social conflicts. The paper by Bourguignon contributes significantly to the discussion of how to end poverty and economic inequality. He stresses the need for policymakers to tackle the inequality issue and offers several policy recommendations for progressive song taxes, transfer payments, schooling, and active labor market policies. The article summarizes the current knowledge on the issue of inequality by drawing on a wide variety of information from academic literature and empirical investigations. It links to previous works by recommending policies based on research and underlining the connection between inequality and economic development, poverty alleviation, and social stability.

Dabla-Norris, M. E., Kochhar, M. K., Suphaphiphat, M. N., Ricka, M. F., & Tsounta, M. E. (2015).  Causes and consequences of income inequality: A global perspective . International Monetary Fund.

The paper by Dabla-Norris et al. (2015) summarizes the statistics and reasons for income inequality worldwide. Using statistics and studies, the authors investigate the effects of tax and transfer systems and the power of labor market institutions on income disparity and economic development. The essay contributes to the issue of resolving poverty and economic inequality by providing a thorough grasp of the causes and effects of income disparity and stressing the possible role of policies in lowering income inequality. Even though there is no silver bullet, the authors conclude that tax and transfer systems, labor market regulations, and investments in education and training may all assist in bringing down income disparity. The article’s thorough overview of poverty and economic inequality is supported by a wealth of data and research, making it an invaluable resource for anyone investigating these issues. The author’s incorporation of data from other nations and analysis of the interplay between numerous variables and income inequality enrich the current literature and provide light on the genesis and impact of this social ill.

Validity of the research

The research on poverty and economic inequality is valid because it is based on accurate information from reliable sources. However, the researcher’s biases may affect the research’s validity. For example, researchers may be more likely to focus on the negative effects of poverty, such as poor living conditions, and overlook the positive aspects of poverty, such as access to education and healthcare. The reliability of the research on poverty and economic inequality largely depends on the quality of the data sources. Sources such as census data, surveys, and official reports are generally considered reliable, based on accurate information gathered from various sources. However, research based on anecdotal evidence or personal accounts may be less reliable, as these sources are more prone to bias or inaccuracy. There are several potential biases in research on poverty and economic inequality. For example, researchers may focus too heavily on poverty’s negative aspects and overlook the positive ones. Additionally, researchers may have preconceived notions about what causes poverty and economic inequality, which can lead to bias in their conclusions. The strengths of research on poverty and economic inequality lie in its accuracy and reliability. Data sources such as census data, surveys, and official reports are generally considered reliable and provide a comprehensive overview of poverty and economic inequality. Additionally, researchers can draw on various sources to examine the causes and effects of poverty and economic inequality. The weaknesses of research on poverty and economic inequality lie in its potential for bias. Researchers may have preconceived notions about what causes poverty and economic inequality, which can lead to bias in their conclusions. Research-based on anecdotal evidence or personal accounts may be less reliable, as these sources are more prone to bias or inaccuracy. One of the main limitations of current research on poverty and economic inequality is that it often focuses on the negative aspects of poverty and overlooks the positive aspects. The research is often limited to certain geographic areas or populations, leading to an incomplete understanding of the causes and effects of poverty and economic inequality. Further research is needed to understand the causes and effects of poverty and economic inequality. Researchers should examine the issue from various perspectives and consider both the positive and negative aspects of poverty. Thus, research should include a wider range of geographic areas and populations to understand the issue comprehensively.

Poverty and economic inequality are complex issues that are difficult to tackle in the United States. Clearly, poverty and economic inequality are deeply entrenched in the US economy and have been shaped by various factors. The economic policies of the past few decades have widened the gap between the wealthy and the poor and have exacerbated existing problems. The federal government must take action to address poverty and economic inequality, and a comprehensive approach to address these issues is needed. Investing in education and job training, providing access to health care and other social services, and creating economic opportunities for individuals and families are just a few of the steps that can be taken to reduce poverty and economic inequality in the United States.

Gornick, J. C. (2022). Income inequality and income poverty in a cross-national perspective.  Institute for Fiscal Studies . https://ifs.org.uk/inequality/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Income-inequality-and-income-poverty-in-a-cross-national-perspective-IFS-Deaton-Review-of-Inequalities-1.pdf

Kuhn, M., Schularick, M., & Steins, U. I. (2020). Income and wealth inequality in America, 1949–2016.  Journal of Political Economy ,  128 (9), 3469-3519.

Lunstrum, E., & Givá, N. (2020). What drives commercial poaching? From poverty to economic inequality.  Biological Conservation ,  245 , 108505. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320718317658

Obayelu, A. E., & Edewor, S. E. (2022, December 28). Economic Inequality and Poverty Dynamics: What does Literature tell us?  International Journal of Social Sciences and Economic Review , 21–31. https://doi.org/10.36923/ijsser.v4i4.166

Piff, P. K., Wiwad, D., Robinson, A. R., Aknin, L. B., Mercier, B., & Shariff, A. (2020). Shifting attributions for poverty motivates opposition to inequality and enhances egalitarianism.  Nature Human Behaviour ,  4 (5), 496-505. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-020-0835-8

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This thesis contains three independent chapters that are aimed towards contributing to our understanding of three questions in the literature on poverty, occupational choice and social networks. The first chapter asks whether labor contracts in a rural economy play a significant role in insuring workers against risks and if the outside options of workers determine the extent to which their labor contracts are interlinked with their insurance arrangements. As such, it provides evidence on a well-established idea in the study of rural labor markets - that of labor-tying - by showing that it is an important channel through which the poor workers smooth their income and that an exogenous improvement in their outside options induces them to exit labor-tying and switch to alternative channels of informal insurance. The second chapter provides evidence on whether transfer of capital and skills enable the poor to permanently exit poverty by entering into higher return occupations. It shows that such a transfer not only transforms the occupational choices of the targeted poor, but has significant general equilibrium effects on the local markets, and corresponding spillover effects on non- targeted households. The third chapter provides evidence on the question \do formal transfers crowd out informal transfers", exploiting the randomized roll-out of a large scale asset transfer and training program to test for its effects on the informal transfer arrangements of the poor. It shows that the informal transfers to the poor are crowded out by the program, but this effect is highly heterogenous depending on the location of the sender and the vulnerability of the targeted poor.

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