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When is Growth Pro-Poor? Cross-Country Evidence

  • Aart Kraay

Growth is pro-poor if the poverty measure of interest falls. This implies three potential sources of pro-poor growth: (a) a high rate of growth of average incomes; (b) a high sensitivity of poverty to growth in average incomes; and (c) a poverty-reducing pattern of growth in relative incomes. I empirically decompose changes in poverty in a large sample of developing countries into these components. In the medium run, most of the variation in changes in poverty is due to growth, suggesting that policies and institutions that promote broad-based growth should be central to pro-poor growth. Most of the remainder is due to poverty-reducing patterns of growth in relative incomes, rather than differences in the sensitivity of poverty to growth in average incomes. Cross-country evidence provides little guidance on policies and institutions that promote these other sources of pro-poor growth.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 04/47.

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Length: 35
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:04/47
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  1. Easterly, William, 1999. " Life during Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 239-76, September.
  2. Sarabia, J. -M. & Castillo, Enrique & Slottje, Daniel J., 1999. "An ordered family of Lorenz curves," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 43-60, July.
  3. 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.
  4. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Can high-inequality developing countries escape absolute poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1775, The World Bank.
  5. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Explaining International and Intertemporal Variations in Income Inequality," CEMA Working Papers 73, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
  6. James E. Foster & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Is Economic Growth Good for the Poor? Tracking Low Incomes Using General Means," Research Department Publications 4269, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. " Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
  8. Mattias Lundberg & Lyn Squire, 2003. "The simultaneous evolution of growth and inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 326-344, 04.
  9. Milanovic, Branko, 2002. "Can we discern the effect of globalization on income distribution? evidence from household budget surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2876, The World Bank.
  10. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 2001. "Measuring pro-poor growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2666, The World Bank.
  11. 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.
  12. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  13. Leamer, Edward E. & Maul, Hugo & Rodriguez, Sergio & Schott, Peter K., 1999. "Does natural resource abundance increase Latin American income inequality?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 3-42, June.
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