It is widely know that the vast majority of the world's poor live in Asia - particularly in rural areas. Rural poverty constitutes the most important development challenge in many Asian developing economies, but a lot of things still remain unclear about the characteristics, causes andpossible remedies of rural poverty. A great deal of research is therefore required as input to sound public policy to address rural poverty.This book is the outcome of an Asian Development Bank study on rural poverty in selected Asia countries. This volume, which represents a collection of economic essays, highlights a number of priority issues affecting rural poverty. In addition, there is an Introduction which summarizes the issuespapers included in the volume and their interrelationships as well as a short synthesis of the in-depth country studies to be published in forthcoming separate volumes. This volume will contribute to a better understanding of the significant issues involved in rural poverty.