This paper empirically analyzes the determinants of rural poverty in developing countries. Using data from a sample of 32 developing countries we are able to show that income redistribution in favor of the poorest 10 percent of the population, improving the productivity of agricultural workers, raising the economic and social status of women, especially of rural women, government policies aimed at reducing systemic discrimination against ethnic minorities, encouraging tourism where possible, and programs designed to assist the irrigation of croplands are called for in the quest for alleviating poverty in rural areas. As the extent of rural poverty is reduced, an added benefit is the deceleration of the rural‐urban migration process, which results in less pressure on government to provide additional spending on services such as sanitation, health, and education in urban areas as well as having to deal with a host of problems associated with overgrown cities such as a higher incidence of crime and of shanty towns on the outskirts of these cities.
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