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Macro and Micro Perspectives of Growth and Poverty in Africa

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  • Luc Christiaensen
  • Lionel Demery
  • Stefano Paternostro

Abstract

This article reviews trends in poverty, economic policies, and growth in a sample of African countries during the 1990s, drawing on the better household data now available. Experiences have varied. Some countries have seen sharp drops in income poverty, whereas others have witnessed marked increases. In some countries overall economic growth has been pro-poor and in others not. But the aggregate numbers hide systematic distributional effects. Taking both macro and micro perspectives of growth and poverty in Africa, the article draws four key conclusions. First, economic policy reforms (improving macroeconomic balances and liberalizing markets) appear conducive to reducing poverty. Second, market connectedness is crucial to enable participation in the gains from economic growth. Some regions and households by virtue of their remoteness were left behind when growth picked up. Third, education and access to land emerge as key private endowments to help households benefit from new economic opportunities. Finally, rainfall variations and ill health have profound effects on poverty outcomes, underscoring the significance of social risk management in poverty reduction strategies in Africa. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 17 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 317-347

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:17:y:2003:i:3:p:317-347

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Cited by:
  1. Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney & Kangni Kpodar, 2005. "Financial Development, Financial Instability and Poverty," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2005-09, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Resnick, Danielle & Birner, Regina, 2006. "Does good governance contribute to pro-poor growth?: a review of the evidence from cross-country studies," DSGD discussion papers 30, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Bayraktar, Nihal & Pinto Moreira, Emmanuel & El Aynaoui, Karim, 2005. "Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Sub-Saharan Africa : a macroeconomic monitoring framework," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3750, The World Bank.
  4. Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney & Kangni Kpodar, 2008. "Financial Development and Poverty Reduction," IMF Working Papers 08/62, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Mwangi S. Kimenyi, 2006. "Economic Reforms and Pro-Poor Growth: Lessons for Africa and other Developing Regions and Economies in Transition," Working papers 2006-02, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  6. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Bayraktar, Nihal & El Aynaoui, Karim, 2005. "Roads out of poverty? assessing the links between aid, public investment, growth, and poverty reduction," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3490, The World Bank.
  7. Epo, Boniface Ngah & Abiala, Mireille Ambiana & Maimo, Clovis Wendji & Choub, Péguy Christophe Faha, 2010. "Globalization, Institutions, Asset Endowments and Poverty Reduction Outcomes in Africa within the Context of the Financial Crisis: Establishing a Transmission Mechanisms," MPRA Paper 20655, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Sindzingre, Alice, 2005. "Explaining Threshold Effects of Globalization on Poverty: An Institutional Perspective," Working Paper Series RP2005/53, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  9. Aryeetey, Ernest & Kanbur, Ravi, 2006. "Ghana’s Economy at Half Century: An Overview of Stability, Growth and Poverty," Working Papers 127036, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  10. World Bank, 2007. "Niger - Accelerating Growth and Achieving the Millennium Development Goals : Diagnosis and the Policy Agenda," World Bank Other Operational Studies 7658, The World Bank.
  11. Resnick, Danielle & Birner, Regina, 2005. "Does Good Governance Contribute to Pro-poor Growth?: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Evidence from Cross-Country Studies," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Kiel 2005 5, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.

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