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Pro-Poor Growth and the Lognormal Distribution

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  • Peter J. Lambert

    () (University of Oregon)

Abstract

A widely accepted criterion for the pro-poorness of an income growth pattern is that it should reduce a (chosen) measure of poverty by more than if all incomes were growing equi-proportionately. Inequality reduction is not generally seen as either necessary or sufficient for pro-poorness. As empirical income distributions fit well to the lognormal form, lognormality has sometimes been assumed in order to determine analytically the poverty effects of income growth. We show that in a lognormal world, growth is pro-poor in the above sense, if and only if it is inequality-reducing. It follows that lognormality may not be a good paradigm by means of which to examine pro-poorness issues. In contrast, some popular 3-parameter forms offer the ability to conduct nuanced investigation of the pro-poorness growth-inequality nexus.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter J. Lambert, 2010. "Pro-Poor Growth and the Lognormal Distribution," Journal of Income Distribution, Journal of Income Distribution, vol. 19(3-4), pages 88-99, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:jid:journl:y:2010:v:19:i:3-4:p:88-99
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    File URL: http://jid.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jid/article/view/31274
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    2. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    3. Alan S. Blinder, 1973. "Wage Discrimination: Reduced Form and Structural Estimates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 8(4), pages 436-455.
    4. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 869-887.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    poverty; growth; pro-poorness; lognormal distribution;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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