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In Search of The Holy Grail: How to Achieve Pro-Poor Growth ?

Pro Poor Growth has become a central concern to achieve sustainable poverty reduction in developing countries. Despite being widely used, the term is not well-defined nor has there been a clear policy document that would summarize the determinants and policy implications of pro poor growth. This paper seeks to fill this void by first proposing a definition of pro poor growth, then summarizing the linkages between inequality, poverty, and pro poor growth, before proceeding to analyze the micro and sectoral determinants of pro poor growth. The final section spells out the recently emerging consensus on policy implications for pro poor growth, with particular emphasis on policy issues in Sub Saharan Africa and points to remaining disagreements and areas for further research. The paper emphasizes the particular importance of inequalityreducing policies for pro poor growth as well as the need to further analyze the scope of activist state policies to deliver a pro poor agenda.

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Paper provided by Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research in its series Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers with number 096.

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Length: 36
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming: in Tungodden, B. and N. Stern (editors). 2003. Towards Pro Poor Policies. Proceedings from the Annual Bank Conference on Development Economics-Europe. Washington DC: The World Bank.
Handle: RePEc:got:iaidps:096
Note: This paper is a revised version of a paper commissioned by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) for the \"Growth and Equity\" Task Team of the Strategic Partnership with Africa (SPA). I would like to thank Helmut Asche, Ulrike Maenner, Renate Kirsch, Jenny Klugman, John Page, Bertil Tungodden, two anonymous referees, and participants at a workshop at the GTZ, the World Bank, Harvard’s Center for Population and Development Studies, and the World Bank’s ABCDE Europe Conference in Oslo, and the World Bank’s Pro Poor Growth workshop in South Africa for helpful comments and discussions on earlier versions of this paper and François Bourgignon and Martin Ravallion for helpful discussions. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the GTZ.
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  1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. " Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
  2. Pritchett, Lant H. & DEC, 1994. "Desired fertility and the impact of population policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1273, The World Bank.
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  4. Paul Collier & Jan Willem Gunning, 1998. "Explaining African economic performance," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-02.2, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  5. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Lipton, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and policy," Handbook of Development Economics, in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2551-2657 Elsevier.
  9. Jyotsna Jalan & Martin Ravallion, 1998. "Geographic Poverty Traps?," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 86, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  10. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
  11. Klasen, Stephan, 2000. "Measuring Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 33-58, March.
  12. Barro, R.J., 1989. "Economic Growth In A Cross Section Of Countries," RCER Working Papers 201, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  13. Bardhan, Kalpana & Klasen, Stephan, 1999. "UNDP's Gender-Related Indices: A Critical Review," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 985-1010, June.
  14. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 2001. "Measuring pro-poor growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2666, The World Bank.
  15. Kremer, Michael & Chen, Daniel L, 2002. " Income Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 227-58, September.
  16. Kristin J. Forbes, 2000. "A Reassessment of the Relationship between Inequality and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 869-887, September.
  17. Abhijit Banerjee, 1999. "Land Reforms: Prospects and Strategies," Working papers 99-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  18. Mattias Lundberg & Lyn Squire, 2003. "The simultaneous evolution of growth and inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 326-344, 04.
  19. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1996. "How Important to India's Poor Is the Sectoral Composition of Economic Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 1-25, January.
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