Growth elasticity of poverty: estimates from new data
Purpose – By using the World Bank's new poverty data that are based on the most recent International Comparison Program report, this research aims to revisit the response of poverty rate to increase in real gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. Design/methodology/approach – The response is summarized in terms of elasticity of poverty with respect to real GDP per capita, which is the ratio of annual percentage fall in poverty rate to annual percentage increase in real GDP per capita. The main calculations are done for the entire group of less-developed countries (LDCs), poverty-dense South Asia region, and India, which probably has the highest poverty rate. The periods studied are 1981-1990, 1990-1999, and 1999-2005. The calculations are done for four different poverty measures. Findings – Five major points are noted. First, the elasticities generally show a declining tendency over the period, indicating that poverty-reducing impact of income growth has been weakening. Second, the elasticities show huge differences across the poverty lines, and generally decline with higher poverty lines. Third, while global elasticities for $1.00 poverty line bear some resemblance to those reported or used by many scholars, elasticities for $2.00 and 2.50 poverty rates are dramatically lower, and reinforce the view that many influential estimates show the effect of income growth on poverty to be much higher than the data indicate. Fourth, elasticities for poverty-dense South Asia are again seen to be much lower than those for the entire LDC group. Fifth, for India, where $2.00 and 2.50 poverty rates are higher than even in Sub-Saharan Africa, the elasticities are extremely low and have been declining despite an acceleration in income growth. The overall implication seems to be that income growth has generally been less pro-poor during the globalization era of the 1990s and the 2000s than during the 1980s. In particular, income growth in India seems to have had an extremely small impact on poverty, and that impact, notably for $1.00 and 1.25 poverty lines, has been declining. Originality/value – First, although there is a vast literature on growth elasticities of poverty, this seems to be the first study that uses World Bank's new poverty data to judge the impact of income growth on poverty. Second, this is the only study that directly estimates and compares elasticities for the four poverty lines of $1.00, 1.25, 2.00, and 2.50, and shows large differences in the elasticities for different poverty lines. Third, this is probably the only work that compares elasticities for the 1980s, 1990s, and the 2000s. Fourth, although some indication of very low elasticities for South Asia and India does exist in a recent study, $2.50 elasticities reported in the present work for India, and even South Asia, should constitute an eye-opener for scholars, policy-makers, and international organizations in regard to the potential role of income growth in poverty reduction. Fifth, the observed decline in most elasticities during the 1990s and 2000s, as compared with the 1980s, despite higher income levels and growth rates, may shed light on the likely role of globalization in reducing poverty.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 37 (2010)
Issue (Month): 12 (October)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/ijse.htm Email:
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- World Bank, 2009. "World Development Indicators 2009," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4367, June.
- Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2000.
"Can the world cut poverty in half ? how policy reform and effective aid can meet international development goals,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2403, The World Bank.
- Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2001. "Can the World Cut Poverty in Half? How Policy Reform and Effective Aid Can Meet International Development Goals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1787-1802, November.
- Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2003. "Halving Global Poverty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
- Rati Ram, 2006. "Growth Elasticity of Poverty: Alternative Estimates and a Note of Caution," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 601-610, November.
- Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001.
"Growth is good for the poor,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2587, The World Bank.
- Pradip K. Bhaumik & Arindam Banik, 2010. "Rigidities restraining movement of a rural artisan from poor to non-poor state: An empirical investigation of an Indian poverty reduction programme," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 17-40, January.
- Kalwij, Adriaan & Verschoor, Arjan, 2007. "Not by growth alone: The role of the distribution of income in regional diversity in poverty reduction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 805-829, May.
- Kaliappa Kalirajan & Kanhaiya Singh, 2009. "The pace of poverty reduction across the globe: an exploratory analysis," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(6), pages 692-705, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:37:y:2010:i:12:p:923-932. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Virginia Chapman)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.