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Global poverty reduction: are we heading in the right direction?

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  • Howard White

    (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK)

Abstract

Poverty is now commonly recognised as a multi-dimensional concept, but there is less agreement about whether such recognition matters for poverty reduction policies in practice. This article argues that it does matter, as income is an input measure rather than a welfare outcome, the correlation between income and other aspects of poverty is imperfect and as there are strong complementarties between investment in human development and attaining sustained growth. Poverty measures should clearly be those that focus on the welfare of the poor, but it is often forgotten that many social indicators have a distributional component, just as does income per capita, so that increases do not necessarily correspond to improvements in the well-being of the poor. The record with respect to poverty reduction is uneven and certainly leaves no room for complacency. Although growth is rightly considered a part of any poverty reduction strategy, the agenda should focus more strongly on poverty reduction with growth (and so the distribution of the benefits of growth). Aid can play a role in this process, but only if the donor-based biases which distort aid from its poverty-reducing objective are confronted. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

Volume (Year): 11 (1999)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 503-519

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Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:11:y:1999:i:4:p:503-519

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Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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  1. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Good and bad growth: The human development reports," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 25(5), pages 631-638, May.
  2. Alejandro Ramirez & Gustav Ranis & Frances Stewart, . "Economic Growth and Human Development -," QEH Working Papers qehwps18, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  3. Robert K. Triest, 1998. "Has Poverty Gotten Worse?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(1), pages 97-114, Winter.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Alejandro Ramirez & Gustav Ranis, 1997. "Economic Growth and Human Development," Working Papers 787, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth," Papers 537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  7. Demery, Lionel & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Macroeconomic Adjustment and Poverty in Africa: An Emerging Picture," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 39-59, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Bigsten, Arne & Levin, Jorgen, 2001. "Growth, Income Distribution, and Poverty: A Review," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  2. Levine, Sebastian, 2006. "Measuring progress towards global poverty goals: Challenges and lessons from southern Africa," MPRA Paper 4932, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2006.
  3. Rizwana Siddiqui, 2008. "Income, Public Social Services, and Capability Development: A Cross-district Analysis of Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2008:43, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
  4. Robert Lensink & Howard White, 2000. "Aid allocation, poverty reduction and the Assessing Aid report," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 399-412.
  5. Wamboye, Evelyn & Adekola, Abel, 2013. "Foreign Aid, Legal Origin, Economic Growth and Africa’s Least Developed Countries," MPRA Paper 47846, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Siddiqui, Rizwana, 2007. "The role of household income and public provision of social services in satisfaction of basic needs in Pakistan: A cross district analysis," MPRA Paper 4409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Matthias Grossmann (SKOPE) and Mark Poston (DFID), . "Skill Needs and Policies for Agriculture-led Pro-poor Development," QEH Working Papers qehwps112, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.

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