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Growth Elasticity of Poverty: Alternative Estimates and a Note of Caution

  • Rati Ram
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    Estimates of the elasticity of headcount poverty with respect to income suggested in many influential studies appear too high and imply a more important role for income-growth in poverty-reduction than is appropriate. Direct estimates based on aggregate data for several different periods are much smaller at about - 1, which (in absolute terms) is no larger than one-half of those suggested in the literature. Researchers and policymakers are urged to use the lower estimate for any real-world application in a global or cross-country context. In such contexts, when per capita income increases by X percent during any period, decline in headcount poverty during the period should be expected to be of the order of X percent, and not, as most influential studies suggest, 2X percent. Copyright 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

    Volume (Year): 59 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 601-610

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:59:y:2006:i:4:p:601-610
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