Financial Crisis in Asia: Its Genesis, Severity and Impact on Poverty and Hunger


Building on the recent literature on finance, growth and hunger, we have examined the experience of Asian countries over the last five decades, using dynamic panel models. Although the results are mixed, depending on the specification and variables used, there is some evidence favouring a positive role of finance in growth of GDP and agricultural value added. While financial development reduces income inequality, the effects on hunger are not so robust. Although microfinance has considerable potential for ameliorating deprivation, the contraction of credit and risk aversion of investors, together with a faltering global recovery, underlie gloomy prospects for the poor in Asia.


Finance, Economic Development, Agriculture, Inequality, Poverty, Asia

JEL Classification

C33, E44, G01, I32, O15


Katsushi S. IMAI
Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University
Rokkodai-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe
657-8501 Japan
Phone: +81-78-803-7036
FAX: +81-78-803-7059

Raghav GAIHA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA & Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi, India

Ganesh THAPA
International Fund for Agricultural Development, Italy

Samuel Kobina ANNIM
Economics, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK