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Social Protection for Poverty Reduction in Times of Crisis

  • Youssouf KIENDREBEOGO
  • Abdoulaye TALL
  • Kossi ASSIMAIDOU

The recent global crisis has highlighted the need to protect the poor and people vulnerable to adverse shocks. Many countries have implemented various programmes to protect social spending and help poor people during periods of financial crisis. This paper uses the most comprehensive database on social spending compiled thus far, and the unique cross-country database on poverty to explore the poverty-reducing role of social protection during financial crises. Using advanced panel data techniques to deal with endogeneity issues, we find that financial crises are associated with slower reductions in the poverty headcount and the poverty gap. Crises lead to 526,400-555,000 additional poor people and to an increase of 4.7-10.6 percentage points in the poverty gap in the medium to long term. These devastating effects of crises on poverty are relatively lower—by 11 and 20 percentage points for each percentage point increase in social spending for the poverty headcount and the poverty gap, respectively—in countries with higher social spending, suggesting the importance of social protection for poverty reduction in times of crisis and potential gains from policy intervention.

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Paper provided by CERDI in its series Working Papers with number 201311.

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Length: 33
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cdi:wpaper:1447
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  1. Milazzo, Annamaria & Grosh, Margaret, 2008. "Social safety nets in World Bank lending and analytical work : FY2002 - 2007," Social Protection Discussion Papers 44730, The World Bank.
  2. Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney & Kangni Kpodar, 2008. "Financial Development and Poverty Reduction; Can there Be a Benefit without a Cost?," IMF Working Papers 08/62, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Keen, Michael & Lockwood, Ben, 2007. "The Value Added Tax : Its Causes and Consequences," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 801, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Bilal Habib & Ambar Narayan & Sergio Olivieri & Carolina Sanchez, 2010. "The Impact of the Financial Crisis on Poverty and Income Distribution : Insights from Simulations in Selected Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies 10206, The World Bank.
  5. Eliana Cardoso, 1992. "Inflation and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 4006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Rahul Anand & Saurabh Mishra & Shanaka J. Peiris, 2013. "Inclusive Growth; Measurement and Determinants," IMF Working Papers 13/135, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
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