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Macroeconomic Adjustment and the Poor: Analytical Issues and Cross-Country Evidence

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  • Pierre-Richard Agénor

Abstract

This paper studies the links between macroeconomic adjustment and poverty. The first part summarizes some of the recent evidence on poverty in the developing world. The second reviews the various channels through which macroeconomic policies affect the poor, whereas the third is devoted to the specific role of the labor market. It presents an analytical framework that captures some of the main features of the urban labor market in developing countries and studies the effects of fiscal adjustment on wages, employment, and poverty. The fourth part presents cross-country regressions linking various macroeconomic and structural variables to poverty. Higher levels and growth rates of per capita income, higher rates of real exchange rate depreciation, better health conditions, and a greater degree of commercial openness lower poverty, whereas inflation, greater income inequality, and macroeconomic volatility tend to increase it. Moreover, the impact of growth on poverty appears to be asymmetric; it seems to result from a significant relationship between episodes of increasing poverty and negative growth rates. Copyright Blackwell Publishers Ltd, 2004.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 18 (2004)
Issue (Month): (07)
Pages: 351-408

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:18:y:2004:i::p:351-408

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  1. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Aizenman, Joshua, 1999. "Macroeconomic adjustment with segmented labor markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 277-296, April.
  2. Amadeo, Edward Joaquim & Neri, Marcelo Cortes, 2000. "Macroeconomic Policy And Poverty In Brazil," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 373, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  3. Theo S Eicher & Cecilia Garcia Penalosa, . "Inequality and Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0083, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
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  7. Breen, R. & Garcia-Penalosa, C., 1999. "Income Inequality and Macroeconomic Volatility: an Empirical Investigation," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 99b11, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
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  15. Bourguignon, Francois & de Melo, Jaime & Suwa, Akiko, 1991. "Distributional Effects of Adjustment Policies: Simulations for Archetype Economies in Africa and Latin America," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(2), pages 339-66, May.
  16. Eduardo Lora & Gustavo Márquez, 1998. "The Employment Problem in Latin America: Perceptions and Stylized Facts," IDB Publications 6437, Inter-American Development Bank.
  17. Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Mazumdar, Dipak, 1997. "Employment, labor markets, and poverty in Ghana," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1845, The World Bank.
  18. Bleaney, Michael F., 1996. "Macroeconomic stability, investment and growth in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 461-477, March.
  19. Quentin Wodon & Rodrigo Castro & Kihoon Lee, 2001. "Poverty in Latin America: Trends (1986-1998) and Determinants," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 38(114), pages 127-153.
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