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Adjustment and Poverty in Asia: Old Solutions and New Problems -

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  • Frances Stewart

Abstract

This paper analyses how adjustment policies affected the poor in Asian economies, focussing on the period up to 1997. It shows that there was a significant reduction in both private income poverty and social income poverty over the previous thirty years. The adjustment policies of the 1980s led to some episodes of rising poverty, but unlike in other regions, there was no substantial increase in poverty. Countries which adjusted on their own, however, did significantly better on poverty than those who adjusted with IMF or World Bank programmes. In both cases, the main basis for the good performance was a sustained growth rate not very high commitments of national income to social expenditure, nor a progressive improvement in income distribution. Social safety nets did not play a big part. As a result when the economic crisis occurred in East Asian countries in 1997-8, there were only limited safety nets, of either a traditional or state supported kind, so that a sharp increase in poverty ensued.

Suggested Citation

  • Frances Stewart, "undated". "Adjustment and Poverty in Asia: Old Solutions and New Problems -," QEH Working Papers qehwps20, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:qeh:qehwps:qehwps20
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    File URL: http://www3.qeh.ox.ac.uk/RePEc/qeh/qehwps/qehwps20.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Frances Stewart, 1993. "Two errors of targeting," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(5), pages 459-496, September.
      • Giovanni Andrea Cornia & Frances Stewart, 1993. "Two Errors of Targeting," Papers iopeps93/54, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
    2. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    3. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(3), pages 565-591, September.
    4. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
    5. Cornia, Giovanni Andrea & Jolly, Richard & Stewart, Frances (ed.), 1987. "Adjustment with a Human Face: Volume 1, Protecting the Vulnerable and Promoting Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198286097.
    6. Polak, J.J., 1991. "The Changing Nature of IMF Conditionality," Princeton Studies in International Economics 184, International Economics Section, Departement of Economics Princeton University,.
    7. Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "King Kong Meets Godzilla: The World Bank and The East Asian Miracle," CEPR Discussion Papers 944, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Chen, Shaohua & Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Is Poverty Increasing in the Developing World?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(4), pages 359-376, December.
    9. Ranis, G., 1993. "Labor Markets, Human Capital and Development Performance in East Asia," Papers 697, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
    10. Jacques J. Polak, 1991. "The Changing Nature of IMF Conditionality," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 41, OECD Publishing.
    11. Michael Sarel, 1997. "How Macroeconomic Factors Affect Income Distribution; The Cross-Country Evidence," IMF Working Papers 97/152, International Monetary Fund.
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