Volume 1 : Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Mobility

This book brings together the latest thinking about poverty dynamics from diverse analytic traditions. While covering a vast body of conceptual and empirical knowledge about economic and social mobility, it takes the reader on compelling journeys of multigenerational accounts of three villages in Kanartaka, India, twelve years in the life of a street child in Burkina Faso, and much more. Leading development practitioners and scholars from the fields of anthropology, economics, political science, and sociology critically examine the literature from their disciplines and contribute new frameworks and evidence from their own works.

Moving Out of Poverty series launched in 2007 is under the editorial direction of Deepa Narayan, Senior Advisor of the World Bank and former director of the pathbreaking Voices of the Poor series. It features the results of new comparative research across more than 500 communities in 15 countries to understand how and why people move out of poverty, and presents other work which builds on interdisciplinary and contextually grounded understandings of growth and poverty reduction.


  1. “The Excellent papers in the volume should be read by economists who work on poverty dynamics in developing countries. They provide perspectives from other social science disciplines (and from economics) which are illuminating and instructive on methodology and on substance. The Interdisciplinarity is key in advancing understanding of poverty dynamics. The papers in this volume show why, and how.”
    By Ravi Kanbur – T.H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, Professor of Economics Cornell University
  2. “Narayan and Petesch have assembled a valuable collection of articles on how the intersection of opportunity structures and human agency shapes the landscape of global poverty. Authors from a variety of disciplines hone in on the critical question of how poor people in the global South can surmount their plight. In the tradition of Amartya Sen, the collection conveys an optimistic assessment of the power of individual and collective initiatives against entrenched structures – a perspective worth reflecting upon and arguing with.”
    By Alejandro Portes – Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Sociology Princeton University