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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. Garcia-Penalosa, Cecilia & Aghion, Philippe & Caroli, Eve, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/10091, Paris Dauphine University.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Bidani, Benu & Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Decomposing social indicators using distributional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 125-139, March.
    6. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2004. "From Physical to Human Capital Accumulation: Inequality and the Process of Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 71(4), pages 1001-1026, October.
    7. 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.
    8. David Fielding, 2001. "Why is Africa so poor? A structural model of economic development and income inequality," CSAE Working Paper Series 2001-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    9. Lipton, Michael & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Poverty and policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1130, The World Bank.
    10. Squire, Lyn, 1993. "Fighting Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 377-82, May.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    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. 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.
    16. Markus Haacker, 2002. "The Economic Consequences of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa," IMF Working Papers 02/38, International Monetary Fund.
    17. Ranis, Gustav & Stewart, Frances & Ramirez, Alejandro, 2000. "Economic Growth and Human Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 197-219, February.
    18. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(2), pages 219-31, March.
    19. 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.
    20. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Inequality, Growth, and Investment," NBER Working Papers 7038, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Dhaneshwar Ghura & Michael T. Hadjimichael, 1996. "Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(3), pages 605-634, September.
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