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The composition of growth matters for poverty alleviation

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  • Loayza, Norman V.
  • Raddatz, Claudio

Abstract

This paper contributes to explain the cross-country heterogeneity of the poverty response to changes in economic growth. It does so by focusing on the structure of output growth itself. The paper presents a two-sector theoretical model that clarifies the mechanism through which the sectoral composition of growth and associated labor intensity can affect workers' wages and, thus, poverty alleviation. Then, it presents cross-country empirical evidence that analyzes, first, the differential poverty-reducing impact of sectoral growth at various levels of disaggregation, and, second, the role of unskilled labor intensity in such differential impact. The paper finds evidence that not only the size of economic growth but also its composition matters for poverty alleviation, with the largest contributions from unskilled labor-intensive sectors (agriculture, construction, and manufacturing). The results are robust to the influence of outliers, endogeneity concerns, alternative explanations, and various poverty measures.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 93 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 137-151

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:93:y:2010:i:1:p:137-151

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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Keywords: Poverty Economic growth Production structure Labor intensity;

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  19. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
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