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Africa is on time

Author

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  • Maxim Pinkovskiy
  • Xavier Sala-i-Martin

Abstract

We present evidence that the recent African growth renaissance has reached Africa’s poor. Using survey data on African income distributions and national accounts GDP, we estimate income distributions, poverty rates, and inequality indices for African countries for the period 1990–2011. We show that: (1) African poverty is falling rapidly; (2) the African countries for which good inequality data exists are set to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) poverty target on time. The entire continent except for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will reach the MDG in 2014, one year in advance, and adding the DRC will delay the MDG until 2018; (3) the growth spurt that began in 1995, if anything, decreased African income inequality instead of increasing it; (4) African poverty reduction is remarkably general: it cannot be explained by a large country, or even by a single set of countries possessing some beneficial geographical or historical characteristic. All classes of countries, including those with disadvantageous geography and history, experience reductions in poverty. In particular, poverty fell for both landlocked as well as coastal countries; for mineral-rich as well as mineral-poor countries; for countries with favorable or with unfavorable agriculture; for countries regardless of colonial origin; and for countries with below- or above-median slave exports per capita during the African slave trade. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Maxim Pinkovskiy & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2014. "Africa is on time," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 311-338, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:19:y:2014:i:3:p:311-338
    DOI: 10.1007/s10887-014-9103-y
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic growth; Poverty; Africa;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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