This paper assesses empirically the role of household endowments in determining the poverty status of households, over and above effects attributable to the macroeconomy and the household's socioeconomic status and region of residence. The empirical setting is Coe d'lvoire in the 1980s. A probit model is estimated separately for urban and rural areas, and sensitivity analysis is undertaken for shifts in the poverty line. The results confirm that human and physical capital endowments of households are important determinants of poverty outcomes of households in Cote d'lvoire. Especially the way in which the household utilises its human capital to link to the labour market is crucial. The role of these endowments increased as the economic recession of the 1980s became more severe.