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Fiscal Stimulus, Agricultural Growth and Poverty in Asia


  • Raghav Gaiha
  • Katsushi S. Imai
  • Ganesh Thapa
  • Woojin Kang


Recent debates on a sustainable recovery of the global economy have tended to overemphasise the "savings glut" hypothesis and the unavoidable imperative of higher consumption in China and other emerging Asian countries. That oversaving and not underinvestment is coming in the way of a quicker and more durable recovery is not just simplistic but misleading from a medium- term growth perspective for emerging Asian countries and other developing countries in this region. Drawing upon country panel data for developing countries and a sub-sample of Asian countries during the period 1991 to 2007, the present study makes a case for a bold and coordinated fiscal stimulus, directed to stimulating agricultural and overall growth, and mitigation of poverty and hunger. Our simulations further suggest that poverty reduction is likely to be larger if the fiscal stimulus is directed to social spending in health and education sectors. Indeed, if our simulations of fiscal impacts have any validity, the dire predictions of millions getting trapped in poverty and hunger may turn out to be exaggerated. The prospects of a strong recovery led by fiscal stimulus are thus real and achievable.
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Suggested Citation

  • Raghav Gaiha & Katsushi S. Imai & Ganesh Thapa & Woojin Kang, 2012. "Fiscal Stimulus, Agricultural Growth and Poverty in Asia," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(6), pages 713-739, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:35:y:2012:i:6:p:713-739 DOI: j.1467-9701.2011.01432.x

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gunther Schnabl, 2011. "The role of the chinese dollar peg for macroeconomic stability in China and the world economy," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 13-2010, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    2. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2004. "The Return to Soft Dollar Pegging in East Asia: Mitigating Conflicted Virtue," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(2), pages 169-201, July.
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    5. Ronald McKinnon & Gunther Schnabl, 2009. "The Case for Stabilizing China's Exchange Rate: Setting the Stage for Fiscal Expansion," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 17(1), pages 1-32.
    6. Schnabl, Gunther & Freitag, Stephan, 2010. "Reverse causality in global current accounts," Working Paper Series 1208, European Central Bank.
    7. Gunther Schnabl & Paul De Grauwe, 2004. "Nominal versus Real Convergence with Respect to EMU Accession - EMU Entry Scenarios for the New Member States," International Finance 0403008, EconWPA, revised 16 Feb 2005.
    8. Galina Hale & Cheryl Long, 2010. "If you try, you’ll get by: Chinese private firms’ efficiency gains from overcoming financial constraints," Working Paper Series 2010-21, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy


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