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Redistribution Matters: Growth for Poverty Reduction


  • Hulya Dagdeviren

    () (University of Hertfordshire, UK)

  • Rolph van der Hoeven

    () (International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands)

  • John Weeks

    () (Department of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London, UK)


Recent development literature has placed priority on poverty reduction, and on possible growth enhancement from a more equal distribution of assets and income. At the same time, empirical work consistently shows that economic growth is no more than distribution neutral. In that context, this paper explores the relationship among growth, inequality and poverty, and demonstrates the following general conclusions: 1) a re-distributive growth path is likely to be superior to a distribution neutral path (‘trickle down’) for reducing poverty; 2) a re-distributive growth path is always superior if both a country’s per capita income and inequality are relatively high; and 3) a static redistribution from the rich to the poor is superior to a redistributive growth path in its effect on poverty for most countries, but not for all. The paper then considers policies that might be used to make growth more equitable.

Suggested Citation

  • Hulya Dagdeviren & Rolph van der Hoeven & John Weeks, 2000. "Redistribution Matters: Growth for Poverty Reduction," Working Papers 99, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:99

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Don Bellante & Albert N. Link, 1981. "Are Public Sector Workers More Risk Averse Than Private Sector Workers?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(3), pages 408-412, April.
    2. Don Bellante & Albert N. Link, 1982. "Worker Response to a Menu of Implicit Contracts," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(4), pages 590-599, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Isabel Ortiz, 2007. "Social Policy," Policy Notes 6, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
    2. Muhammad Mazhar Iqbal, 2015. "Inclusive Growth with Zakat," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 54(4), pages 997-1010.
    3. Philip Nel, 2006. "When Can the Rabble Redistribute? Democratization and Income Distribution in Low- and Middle-income Countries," Working Papers 43, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. John Weeks & Terry McKinley, 2006. "Does Debt Relief Increase Fiscal Space in Zambia? The MDG Implications," Country Study 5, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    5. Isabel Ortiz & Matthew Cummins, 2011. "Global Inequality: Beyond the Bottom Billion – A Rapid Review of Income Distribution in 141 Countries," Working papers 1102, UNICEF,Division of Policy and Strategy.
    6. Andrew Sumner, 2010. "Economic Well-being and Non-economic Well-being: A Review of the Meaning and Measurement of Poverty," Working Papers id:3268, eSocialSciences.
    7. Richard Kozul-Wright & Paul Rayment, 2004. "Globalization Reloaded: An Unctad Perspective," UNCTAD Discussion Papers 167, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    8. Rafael Ranieri & Raquel Almeida Ramos, 2013. "Inclusive Growth: Building up a Concept," Working Papers 104, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
    9. Ortiz, Isabel, 2007. "Politica Social
      [Social Policy]
      ," MPRA Paper 35162, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:ilo:ilowps:370974 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Cagatay, Nilüfer. & Ertürk, Korkuk., 2004. "Gender and globalization : a macroeconomic perspective," ILO Working Papers 993709743402676, International Labour Organization.
    12. Sumner, Andrew, 2004. "Economic Well-being and Non-economic Well-being: A Review of the Meaning and Measurement of Poverty," WIDER Working Paper Series 030, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).

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