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Empowerment as a zero-sum game

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  • Knack, Stephen

Abstract

Empowerment of the poor does not necessarily make them better off – or make the non-poor worse off. In some cases, empowerment may be inefficient, i.e. a negative-sum game. In other cases, it is a zero-sum game, as the poor can benefit only at the expense of someone else. But in many cases, it can be positive-sum, and these opportunities should be identified and pursued by reformers. Attempts by donor organizations and NGOs to empower the poor should focus on means by which the poor are likely to be made better off without making others worse off. Not only is this approach consistent with efficiency, it will also often be the only politically feasible way to empower the poor.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28069.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision: 2005
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28069

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Related research

Keywords: empowerment; development; poverty; inequality; institutinoal development; democracy;

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  1. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  2. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
  3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  4. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  5. Grootaert,Christiaan & van Bastelaer,Thierry (ed.), 2002. "The Role of Social Capital in Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521812917.
  6. Deepa Narayan, 2002. "Empowerment and Poverty Reduction : A Sourcebook," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15239.
  7. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
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