IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cgd/wpaper/130.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Reflections on the Macro Foundations of the Middle Class in the Developing World

Author

Listed:
  • Nancy Birdsall

    ()

Abstract

In this working paper I define inclusive growth as growth conducive to increasing the size and economic command of the middle class. I suggest a definition of the middle class based on absolute and relative measures of country-based income distributions, and present evidence of change in the size of the “middle class” for selected developing countries. I then review how macroeconomic policies shape the environment and incentives for inclusive growth, focusing on three areas: fiscal discipline, the more rule-based the better; a fair tax and redistribution system; and a business friendly exchange rate. The adoption of macro policies that favor the middle class lays the foundation for more economically and politically sustainable development. While on the whole sound macro policy that is good for the middle class is also likely to be pro-poor, tradeoffs may exist with respect to tax, expenditure and transfer programs and responses to economic shocks. Governments should consider the weighted welfare outcomes of alternative approaches to macro policy, rather than un-weighted growth or overly weighted poverty outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Nancy Birdsall, 2007. "Reflections on the Macro Foundations of the Middle Class in the Developing World," Working Papers 130, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:130
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/14696
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ricardo Hausmann & Lant Pritchett & Dani Rodrik, 2005. "Growth Accelerations," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 303-329, December.
    2. Blanchard, Olivier & Wolfers, Justin, 2000. "The Role of Shocks and Institutions in the Rise of European Unemployment: The Aggregate Evidence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 1-33, March.
    3. Tanzi, Vito & Zee, Howell H., 2000. "Tax Policy for Emerging Markets: Developing Countries," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(2), pages 299-322, June.
    4. Nancy Birdsall, 2008. "Income Distribution: Effects on Growth and Development," Chapters,in: International Handbook of Development Economics, Volumes 1 & 2, chapter 48 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Nancy Birdsall, 2007. "Do No Harm: Aid, Weak Institutions and the Missing Middle in Africa," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 25(5), pages 575-598, September.
    6. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    7. Easterly, William & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Fiscal policy and economic growth: An empirical investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 417-458, December.
    8. Anne O. Krueger, 2004. "Virtuous in old age : how the IFIs can help prepare for demographic change," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 243-255.
    9. Kraay, Aart, 2006. "When is growth pro-poor? Evidence from a panel of countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 198-227, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Iva Tomic & Joanna Tyrowicz, 2010. "What Happened to the Middle Class in the New Market Economies? The Case of Croatia and Poland," Croatian Economic Survey, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, vol. 12(1), pages 9-44, April.
    2. Radhouane FILALI & Anis BOUABID, 2016. "Profils Et Déterminants Socioéconomiques De La Classe Moyenne En Tunisie," Region et Developpement, Region et Developpement, LEAD, Universite du Sud - Toulon Var, vol. 44, pages 79-101.
    3. Joseph Deutsch & Jacques Silber & Gaston Yalonetzky, 2014. "On Bi-Polarization and The Middle Class in Latin America: A Look At the First Decade of the Twenty-First Century," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(S2), pages 332-352, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    macroeconomics; sustainable development; middle class;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:130. 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: (Publications Manager). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cgdevus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.