Fellowship for Karen Rignall: Assessing poverty dynamics in an arid agrarian context

Grants and Contracts Details


The project, to be submitted to the National Science Foundation's program to support Interdisciplinary Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences, will address fundamental questions important to both anthropology and agricultural economics: how do periods of socio-economic transformation settle into new patterns of inequality or stability? How does the upward mobility of some households affect the economic options available to others? How can we explain the causes and implications of a situation of increasing inequality and an improvement in livelihood security or living standards overall? I developed a model of poverty dynamics in southern Morocco based on qualitative methods used in the field of cultural anthropology: labor migration from the southern oases of Morocco from the 1970s - 1990s allowed households to use remittances to finance investments in agriculture and other enterprises, creating a positive cycle of wealth accumulation for some. Households without access to international remittances relied instead on local wage labor and were unable to acquire land or other productive resources; they depended on upwardly mobile households for subsistence support and, when I conducted my research in 2010, found themselves in a situation of chronic poverty. My dissertation explores the dynamics behind these different outcomes, but the proposed interdisciplinary project will allow me to test my findings with a larger sample and more rigorous methods from the discipline of economics.
Effective start/end date8/15/137/31/17


  • National Science Foundation: $208,569.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.