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Is green growth relevant for poor economies?

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  • Barbier, Edward B.

Abstract

To be relevant to developing countries, green growth must be reconciled with the two key structural features of natural resource use and poverty in these countries. First, primary products account for the majority of their export earnings, and they are unable to diversify from primary production. Second, many economies have a substantial share of their rural population located on less favored agricultural land and in remote areas, thus encouraging “geographic” poverty traps. If green growth is to be a catalyst for economy-wide transformation and poverty alleviation in developing countries, then it must be accompanied by policies aimed directly at overcoming these two structural features. Policies and reforms should foster forward and backward linkages of primary production, enhance its integration with the rest of the economy, and improve opportunities for innovation and knowledge spillovers. Rural poverty, especially the persistent concentration of the rural poor on less favored agricultural lands and in remote areas, needs to be addressed by additional targeted policies and investments, and where necessary, policies to promote rural-urban migration.

Suggested Citation

  • Barbier, Edward B., 2016. "Is green growth relevant for poor economies?," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 178-191.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:45:y:2016:i:c:p:178-191
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2016.05.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Green growth; Structural change; Rural poverty; Less favored agricultural lands; Remote areas; Market access; Primary products; Resource dependency;

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth

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