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Empowerment as a zero-sum game

  • Knack, Stephen

Empowerment of the poor does not necessarily make them better off – or make the non-poor worse off. In some cases, empowerment may be inefficient, i.e. a negative-sum game. In other cases, it is a zero-sum game, as the poor can benefit only at the expense of someone else. But in many cases, it can be positive-sum, and these opportunities should be identified and pursued by reformers. Attempts by donor organizations and NGOs to empower the poor should focus on means by which the poor are likely to be made better off without making others worse off. Not only is this approach consistent with efficiency, it will also often be the only politically feasible way to empower the poor.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/28069/1/MPRA_paper_28069.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 28069.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
Date of revision: 2005
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:28069
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  1. 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.
  2. Deepa Narayan, 2002. "Empowerment and Poverty Reduction : A Sourcebook," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15239, May.
  3. David Strömberg, 2004. "Radio's Impact on Public Spending," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 189-221, February.
  4. Robert J. Barro, 1989. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," NBER Working Papers 3120, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
  6. 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.
  7. Anand Swamy & Stephen Knack & Young Lee & Omar Azfar, 2000. "Gender and Corruption," Center for Development Economics 158, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  8. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521812917 is not listed on IDEAS
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