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

  • Pierre-Richard Agénor

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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