Belarusian Economic Research and Outreach Center

Determinants of poverty with and without economic growth. Explaining Belarus's poverty dynamics during 2009-2016

This paper studies the incidence and determinants of poverty in Belarus using data from yearly Household Budget Surveys for 2009-2016. The poverty is evaluated from consumption perspective applying the cost of basic needs approach and using food and absolute poverty lines. During last two years, absolute poverty in Belarus has increased twofold and reached 29% of the population. Household size, number of children, lonely mothers and labor status of the household members are among the key determinants of household welfare and poverty. Moreover, living in rural areas and in Brest, Gomel and Mogilev regions increases the likelihood of being poor and negatively relates with welfare. Therefore, public policy directed towards the provision of better family planning, education as well as more diverse possibilities for financial investment, labor market reform targeted for productive job creation, increased non-agricultural employment opportunities for rural residents and additional location specific efforts in Brest, Gomel and Mogilev regions should be among the strategies for poverty reduction in Belarus.