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Measuring Pro-Poor Growth in Burkina Faso: Utility or Capabilities Space?


  • Jean-Pierre Lachaud


The research proposes to contribute to the debate on pro-poor growth, and presents new empirical evidence for Burkina Faso, based on utility and capabilities. First, the comparative analysis of pro-poor growth shows that the monetary and non-monetary dimensions produce very similar results, independently of the implementation of «partial» or «full approach» measures. Thus, over the period 1994-2003, in spite of a small increase of poverty in terms of utility and capabilities, national economic growth was pro-poor, insofar as the poor were proportionally less affected than the non-poor by declines in expenditures and capabilities. Correlatively, at the national rate and in the rural sector, the assumption of a monetary pro-poor growth in absolute terms is unverified – contrary to what certain studies have indicated – whereas a consensus seems to prevail as for the anti-poor monetary growth in the cities, in absolute and relative terms. These divergences are explained by different methodological options. Second, this dual approach of pro-poor growth makes it possible to test the robustness of certain postulated relations between poverty, economic growth and inequality. In this respect, the comparative analysis, mobilizing spatial econometrics, confirms two stylized facts. On the one hand, the provincial growth-elasticity of monetary or capabilities poverty is much lower when the initial index Gini (monetary or non-monetary) is high. In addition, whereas the evolution of the welfare indicator is an important determinant of the variation of poverty during the period, the changes of the expenditures and capacities’ distribution also constitute a significant factor. Moreover, the comparative analysis shows that the effect of the growth on monetary or non-monetary poverty reduction is stronger when the initial rate of development is high. Ultimately, the approach of pro-poor growth in terms of capabilities can contribute not only to check the robustness of the stipulated dynamics of the process of monetary economic growth, but also can be a good proxy in the absence of reliable information on the monetary living standard of households. JEL Classification: I12, I32

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Pierre Lachaud, 2007. "Measuring Pro-Poor Growth in Burkina Faso: Utility or Capabilities Space?," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 15(5), pages 5-46.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:edddbu:edd_215_0005

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    More about this item


    monetary poverty; non-monetary poverty; capabilities; categorical principal components analysis; pro-poor growth; spatial econometrics; Burkina Faso;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty


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