Growth and Poverty Reduction in West Africa: A Brief Overview
This paper serves as a brief introduction and overview for a volume that provides a set of six case studies from West Africa in order to contribute to an assessment of the benefits of growth (or the cost of a lack of growth) for poverty reduction in those countries. The first part of the volume describes the experience of two countries (Ghana and Senegal) that achieved high levels of growth in the 1990s, and that also experienced important reductions in poverty, even though growth was not strictly pro-poor. The second part of the volume describes the experience of two other countries (Burkina Faso and Cape Verde) that also achieved high levels of growth in the 1990s, but where due to data and methodological issues, there was an initial perception that growth did not lead to much poverty reduction. The more detailed analysis of poverty presented here suggests however that these two countries did witness a sharp reduction in their population share in poverty, as would have been expected given their growth record. Finally, in the third part of the volume, it is argued that a lack of growth in the 1990s in the last two countries under review (Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria) has been a key reason for their persistently high levels of poverty. Overall, the case studies in this volume make a strong case for the positive impact of growth for the reduction in poverty in West Africa, but they also point to the need to pay close attention to changes in inequality as such changes have limited the gains from growth for the poor in several of the countries considered here.
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- Barry, Boubacar-Sid & Wodon, Quentin, 2007. "Conflict, Growth, and Poverty in Guinea-Bissau," MPRA Paper 11112, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Angel-Urdinola, Diego & Wodon, Quentin, 2007. "Assessing Absolute and Relative Poverty Trends with Limited Data in Cape Verde," MPRA Paper 11111, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Addison, Douglas & Wodon, Quentin, 2007. "Macroeconomic Volatility, Private Investment, Growth, and Poverty in Nigeria," MPRA Paper 11113, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Quentin Wodon, 2007. "Growth and Poverty Reduction : Case Studies from West Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6875, March.
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