Assignment on Education, Inequality & Poverty: Bangladesh Scenario

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The relationships between education, inequality, and poverty in Bangladesh have been discussed at some length. The standard view is that broad-based economic inequality is poverty. Yet, poverty may also be associated with rising inequality, which then tends to offset part of the gains from education. However, studies on the returns to education in developing countries generally indicate higher social benefits at primary level compared to secondary and tertiary levels. While social benefits for primary education are high in Bangladesh, private benefits are higher for secondary-level education than primary level. On the other hand, private costs are lower for primary education than for secondary education. Poor households in
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Poverty trends in Bangladesh

Poverty estimates in Bangladesh are available from different sources - national accounts statistics, Household Expenditure Surveys (HES) carried out regularly by the Bureau of Statistics, poverty studies by BIDS (Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies) and various nutrition surveys by several agencies. There has been a great deal of controversy regarding the poverty trends in Bangladesh. Controversies specifically relate to the significant improvement of poverty situation in early 1980s and the worsening position of the urban poor compared to their rural counterparts claimed by some studies based on HES. The study (1996) by M. Ravallion and B. Sen refute these results on methodological grounds. According to their revised estimates, "… there was a reduction in poverty incidence, depth and severity around the mid-1980s, but that was not sustained after that" (Ravallion and Sen). Moreover, all poverty measures are higher in rural areas. In the beginning of 1990s, the headcount measure of poverty was nearly 50 per cent - 34 per cent in urban areas and 53 per cent in rural areas. The analysis of APT (Analysis of Poverty Trends Project) survey data of BIDS from 62 villages corroborate these findings based on HES data - "rural poverty has increased during the period 1985/86 to 1991/2, particularly in terms of the poverty gap and squared poverty
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