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Growth is Failing the Poor: The Unbalanced Distribution of the Benefits and Costs of Global Economic Growth

Author

Listed:
  • David Woodward
  • Andrew Simms

Abstract

During 1990-2001, only 0.6 per cent of additional global income per capita contributed to reducing poverty below the $1-a-day line, down from 2.2 per cent during 1981-1990, and barely half the poor’s share of global income. Coupled with the constraints on global growth associated with climate change, and the disproportionately adverse net impact of climate change on the poor, this casts serious doubt on the dominant view that global growth should be the primary means of poverty reduction. Rather than growth, policies and the global economic system should focus directly on achieving social and environmental objectives.

Suggested Citation

  • David Woodward & Andrew Simms, 2006. "Growth is Failing the Poor: The Unbalanced Distribution of the Benefits and Costs of Global Economic Growth," Working Papers 20, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  • Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:20
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    File URL: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2006/wp20_2006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    2. Stephan Klasen, 2005. "Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction: Measurement and Policy Issues," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 246, OECD Publishing.
    3. Wagstaff, Adam, 2003. "Child health on a dollar a day: some tentative cross-country comparisons," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(9), pages 1529-1538, November.
    4. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2003. "Measuring pro-poor growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 93-99, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Isabel Ortiz, 2007. "Social Policy," Policy Notes 6, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic growth; income distribution; world inequality; poverty; environment; climate change;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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