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Growth and Poverty in Burkina Faso: A Reassessment of the Paradox


  • Michael Grimm
  • Isabel Günther


Previous poverty assessments for Burkina Faso were due to the neglect of some important methodological issues misleading and led to the so-called 'Burkinabè Growth-Poverty-Paradox', i.e. relatively sustained macro-economic growth, but almost constant poverty. We estimate that poverty significantly decreased between 1994 and 2003 at least on the national level, i.e. growth was in contrast to what previous poverty estimates suggested 'pro-poor'. However, we also demonstrate that between 1994 and 1998 poverty indeed increased despite a good macro-economic performance. This was due to a severe drought and a resulting profound deterioration of the purchasing power of the poor; an issue which was also overseen by previous studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Grimm & Isabel Günther, 2005. "Growth and Poverty in Burkina Faso: A Reassessment of the Paradox," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 482, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp482

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
    2. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    3. Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2007. "Calculating Comparable Statistics From Incomparable Surveys, With an Application to Poverty in India," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 314-336, July.
    4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    5. Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Growth, Inequality and Poverty: Looking Beyond Averages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1803-1815, November.
    6. Lanjouw, Jean Olson & Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "How to Compare Apples and Oranges: Poverty Measurement Based on Different Definitions of Consumption," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(1), pages 25-42, March.
    7. Ravallion, Martin, 2004. "Pro-poor growth : A primer," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3242, The World Bank.
    8. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101.
    9. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2003. "Measuring pro-poor growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 93-99, January.
    10. Michael Grimm & Charlotte Guénard & Sandrine Mesplé-Somps, 2001. "What has happened to the urban population in Côte d'Ivoire since the eighties ? An analysis of monetary poverty and deprivation over 15 years of household data," Working Papers DT/2001/14, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    11. Fofack, Hippolyte & Monga, Celestin & Tuluy, Hasan, 2001. "Household welfare and poverty dynamics in Burkina Faso : empirical evidence from household surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2590, The World Bank.
    12. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_zaidi_consumption is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Montfort Mlachila & Tidiane Kinda, 2011. "The Quest for Higher Growth in the WAEMU Region; The Role of Accelerations and Decelerations," IMF Working Papers 11/174, International Monetary Fund.
    2. Grimm, Michael, 2008. "Food price inflation and schooling," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Zurich 2008 14, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    3. Rémi BAZILLIER & Victoire GIRARD, 2017. "The gold digger and the machine. Evidence on the distributive effect of the artisanal and industrial gold rushes in Burkina Faso," LEO Working Papers / DR LEO 2545, Orleans Economics Laboratory / Laboratoire d'Economie d'Orleans (LEO), University of Orleans.
    4. Jean-Pierre Lachaud, 2005. "A la recherche de l’insaisissable dynamique de pauvreté au Burkina Faso. Une nouvelle évidence empirique," Documents de travail 117, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
    5. Sakurai, Takeshi & Savadogo, Kimseyinga, 2009. "Covariate Shocks and Rural Poverty in Burkina Faso," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51722, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    6. Channing Arndt & Azhar M. Hussain & Vincenzo Salvucci & Finn Tarp & Lars Peter Østerdal, 2016. "Poverty Mapping Based on First‐Order Dominance with an Example from Mozambique," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 3-21, January.
    7. Michael Grimm, 2008. "Food Price Inflation and Children's Schooling," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 844, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Nouve, Kofi & Bambio, Yiriyibin & Kabore, Samuel & Wodon, Quentin, 2010. "Risque et mesures de la pauvreté rurale au Burkina Faso
      [Risk and Measures of Rural Poverty in Burkina Faso]
      ," MPRA Paper 34374, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. World Bank, 2010. "Burkina Faso - Promoting Growth, Competitiveness and Diversification : Country Economic Memorandum, Volume 3. Enhancing Growth Factors," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12359, The World Bank.
    10. Luc Christiaensen & Peter Lanjouw & Jill Luoto & David Stifel, 2012. "Small area estimation-based prediction methods to track poverty: validation and applications," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(2), pages 267-297, June.
    11. Grimm, Michael, 2011. "Does household income matter for children's schooling? Evidence for rural Sub-Saharan Africa," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 740-754, August.
    12. Salem Kanoun, 2012. "Linkages Between Fiscal Debt Sustainability, Growth And Poverty: An Application To Tunisia," Book Chapters, Institute of Economic Sciences.
    13. Johannes Gräb & Michael Grimm, 2008. "Spatial Inequalities Explained: Evidence from Burkina Faso," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 843, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, "undated". "Building an Integrated Inequality Dataset and the ÔSeven SinsÕ of Inequality Measurement in sub-Saharan Africa," UNDP Africa Policy Notes 2017-16, United Nations Development Programme, Regional Bureau for Africa.
    15. Arndt, Channing & Salvucci, Vincenzo & Tarp, Finn & Østerdal, Lars Peter & Hussain, M. Azhar, 2013. "Advancing Small Area Estimation," WIDER Working Paper Series 053, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    16. Jean-Pierre Lachaud, 2006. "La mesure de la croissance pro-pauvres en Afrique : espace de l’utilité ou des capacités ? Analyse comparative appliquée au Burkina Faso," Documents de travail 122, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
    17. Chandra, Vandana & Osorio Rodarte, Israel, 2009. "Options for Income-Enhancing Diversification in Burkina Faso," MPRA Paper 20928, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Poverty; Pro-poor growth; Differential inflation; Sub-Saharan Africa; Burkina Faso;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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