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La croissance ne suffit pas pour réduire la pauvreté : le rôle des inégalités

Listed author(s):
  • Jean-Pierre Cling



  • Philippe De Vreyer


    (Université de Lille II, DIAL)

  • Mireille Razafindrakoto


    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

  • François Roubaud


    (DIAL, IRD, Paris)

(english) This paper contributes to the current debate on pro-poor growth. It discusses the respective impacts of macro-economic growth and the reduction of income inequality on monetary poverty. Our results emphasise the potential importance of the latter factor and suggest putting forward redistribution policies, which are usually hardly even considered. They also question the credibility of the first of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aims at halving the proportion of the population living in absolute poverty by 2015. The first section analyses the factors which lead to placing poverty reduction at the core of development policies. The second section conducts a survey on the impact of growth and inequality on poverty reduction in the economic litterature. The third section presents the results of simulations on the evolution of poverty incidence in all the developing countries by 2015. These simulations are based on an analytical formulation of the poverty elasticity, under a log-normal hypothesis concerning the income distribution, and making various assumptions on growth rates and the evolution of inequalities. Our estimates suggest that African countries will not meet the first MDG; they also come to convergent conclusions on the potential gains in terms of poverty reduction brought about by pro-poor growth. The fourth and final section reveals the contrast between the above result and the lack of interest for redistribution policies within existing PRSPs (Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers). _________________________________ (français) Cet article s'inscrit dans le débat actuel sur la croissance pro-pauvres. Il aborde la question de l’impact respectif de la croissance macro-économique et de la réduction des inégalités de revenus sur la pauvreté monétaire. Il met en évidence l'importance potentielle du second facteur et plaide en faveur d'une reconsidération de politiques distributives, aujourd'hui trop souvent reléguées au second plan. L’article s’interroge également sur la crédibilité des objectifs de réduction de la pauvreté fixés notamment par le premier des Millennium Development Goals (MDG). La première section analyse les facteurs qui ont conduit à l’adoption des nouvelles initiatives internationales de lutte contre la pauvreté (PRSP, HIPC). La deuxième section procède à une revue de littérature du rôle respectif de la croissance et des inégalités sur la réduction de la pauvreté. Partant d'une décomposition comptable de l'élasticité du taux de pauvreté sous l'hypothèse de log-normalité de la distribution des revenus, la troisième section propose des simulations de l'incidence de la pauvreté pour l'ensemble des pays en développement à l'horizon 2015, sous différents scénarios de croissance et d'évolution des inégalités. Tout en estimant que les pays africains ne pourront atteindre l'Objectif, ces simulations convergent d’une manière générale sur les gains potentiels en termes de réduction de la pauvreté procurés par une croissance pro-pauvres. Enfin, la quatrième section montre le hiatus entre ce résultat et la faible contribution des politiques redistributives dans les stratégies préconisées par les PRSP existants.

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Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2003/04.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: May 2003
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt200304
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