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Millennium Development Goals, Agricultural Growth and Openness


  • Katsushi Imai
  • Raghav Gaiha


Millennium development goal (MDG) of poverty reduction aims for halving of the head-count ratio over the period 1990-2015. Available studies draw attention to the gap between observed and required growth rates, the difficulties of sustaining the latter over time, and whether the policy stance of a government makes a difference to its overall performance. Trade-offs between growth and redistribution in achieving the MDG have also been examined. The present study builds on earlier work in several respects. A two-stage procedure is developed in which income per capita depends on agricultural GDP, a measure of openness of the economy, and regional characteristics in the first stage, and poverty depends on the (estimated) income per capita, a measure of income inequality, and regional characteristics in the second stage. Alternative estimation techniques - including a panel data method- have been employed to check the robustness of the results. The feasibility of halving poverty is examined at the global, regional and country levels. The gaps between required and observed growth rates of aggregate and agricultural income, and the trade-offs between growth and redistribution of income are assessed. While doubts persist about the feasibility of halving poverty in some regions, the results bring into sharper relief the potential of redistribution in achieving this goal.

Suggested Citation

  • Katsushi Imai & Raghav Gaiha, 2003. "Millennium Development Goals, Agricultural Growth and Openness," Economics Series Working Papers 161, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:161

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Angus Deaton, 2000. "Counting the world's poor: problems and possible solutions," Working Papers 212, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    2. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "How Did the World's Poorest Fare in the 1990s?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(3), pages 283-300, September.
    3. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    4. Collier, Paul & Dollar, David, 2001. "Can the World Cut Poverty in Half? How Policy Reform and Effective Aid Can Meet International Development Goals," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1787-1802, November.
    5. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 383-398, March.
    6. Gaiha, Raghav, 1989. "Poverty, Agricultural Production and Prices in Rural India--A Reformulation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 333-352, June.
    7. Angus Deaton and Jean Drèze & Jean Drèze, 2002. "Poverty and Inequality in India: A Reexamination," Working papers 107, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
    8. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    9. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2003. "Halving Global Poverty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
    10. Sahn, David E. & Stifel, David C., 2003. "Progress Toward the Millennium Development Goals in Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 23-52, January.
    11. Wansbeek, Tom & Kapteyn, Arie, 1989. "Estimation of the error-components model with incomplete panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 341-361, July.
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    More about this item


    poverty; goals; growth; redistribution; openness; feasibility;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes


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