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Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Gary G. Moser
  • Toshihiro Ichida
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    This study confirms a strong and robust relationship between economic growth and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa. Employing a panel of 46 countries covering the period 1972-97, the analysis finds that a 10 percent increase in per capita GDP leads to a 1 percent increase in life expectancy, a 3-4 percent decline in infant mortality rates, and a 3½-4 percent increase in the rate of gross primary school enrollment. The results are robust for high- and low-income, as well as fast- and slow-growth, countries. The study also finds that quality of growth, civil conflict, HIV/AIDs, civil and institutional freedom, and island economies are important control variables that help explain the variability of poverty across Africa. A country's latitude is not found to be a significant factor explaining life expectancy or infant mortality rates, though it is a significant factor explaining gross primary school enrollments.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 01/112.

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    Length: 32
    Date of creation: 01 Aug 2001
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:01/112
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    1. Bruno, Michael & Ravallion, Martin & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Equity and growth in developing countries : old and new perspectives on the policy issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1563, The World Bank.
    2. Dhaneshwar Ghura & Michael T. Hadjimichael, 1996. "Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(3), pages 605-634, September.
    3. 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.
    4. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 1999. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality in the Process of Development," Working Papers 99-27, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    5. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    6. Funke, Michael & Strulik, Holger, 2000. "On endogenous growth with physical capital, human capital and product variety," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 491-515, March.
    7. Ranis, G. & Ramirez, A. & Stewart, F., 1997. "Economic Growth and Human Development," Papers 787, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    8. Markus Haacker, 2002. "The Economic Consequences of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/38, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve & García-Peñalosa, Cecilia, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Scholarly Articles 12502063, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    10. Squire, Lyn, 1993. "Fighting Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 377-82, May.
    11. David Fielding, 2000. "Why is Africa so Poor? A Structural Model of Economic Development and Income Inequality," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    12. Demery, Lionel & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Macroeconomic Adjustment and Poverty in Africa: An Emerging Picture," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 11(1), pages 39-59, February.
    13. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-82, May.
    14. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    15. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    16. Bidani, Benu & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Decomposing social indicators using distributional data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1487, The World Bank.
    17. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    18. Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    19. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Inequality, Growth, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 7038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Fields, Gary S, 1989. "Changes in Poverty and Inequality in Developing Countries," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 4(2), pages 167-85, July.
    21. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
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