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Ghana: Poverty Reduction Over Thirty Years


  • McKay Andrew
  • Pirttilä Jukka
  • Tarp Finn


Ghana is relatively rare among Sub-Saharan African countries in having had sustained positive growth every year since the mid-1980s. This paper analyses the nature of the growth and then presents an analysis of the evolution of both consumption poverty and non-monetary poverty outcomes over this period, showing improvements in almost all indicators over this period. At the same time, inequality has risen over the past 20 years and spatial inequality, in both monetary and non-monetary outcomes, remains an important concern. This increase in inequality is one reason why growth has not led to faster poverty reduction.

Suggested Citation

  • McKay Andrew & Pirttilä Jukka & Tarp Finn, 2015. "Ghana: Poverty Reduction Over Thirty Years," WIDER Working Paper Series 052, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp2015-052

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-22 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Annim, Samuel Kobina & Mariwah, Simon & Sebu, Joshua, 2012. "Spatial inequality and household poverty in Ghana," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 487-505.
    3. Jean-Yves Duclos & David Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Robust Multidimensional Spatial Poverty Comparisons in Ghana, Madagascar, and Uganda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 91-113.
    4. Osei, Robert, 2012. "Aid, Growth and Private Capital Flows to Ghana," WIDER Working Paper Series 022, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Cudjoe, Godsway & Breisinger, Clemens & Diao, Xinshen, 2010. "Local impacts of a global crisis: Food price transmission, consumer welfare and poverty in Ghana," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 294-302, August.
    6. World Bank, 2015. "World Development Indicators 2015," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 21634.
    7. Coleman, Simeon, 2012. "Where Does the Axe Fall? Inflation Dynamics and Poverty Rates: Regional and Sectoral Evidence for Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(12), pages 2454-2467.
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    Cited by:

    1. James Sumberg & John Jatoe & Ulrich Kleih & Justin Flynn, 2016. "Ghana’s evolving protein economy," Food Security: The Science, Sociology and Economics of Food Production and Access to Food, Springer;The International Society for Plant Pathology, vol. 8(5), pages 909-920, October.
    2. Lambrecht, Isabel & Schuster, Monica & Asare, Sarah & Pelleriaux, Laura, 2017. "Changing gender roles in agriculture?: Evidence from 20 years of data in Ghana," IFPRI discussion papers 1623, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. repec:bla:agecon:v:49:y:2018:i:6:p:691-710 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Isabel Lambrecht & Monica Schuster & Sarah Asare Samwini & Laura Pelleriaux, 2018. "Changing gender roles in agriculture? Evidence from 20 years of data in Ghana," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 49(6), pages 691-710, November.

    More about this item


    Economic development; Economic growth; Equality and inequality; Measurement (Poverty);

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