Has recent economic growth in Poland been pro-poor?
This paper applies two recently introduced measurement frameworks to analyze the effects of economic growth and inequality changes on the performance of the poor’s living standard in Poland during the recent decade of 1998–2008. We use both an approach based on a general class of pro-poorness indices as well as dominance-based techniques, which allow for robust statistical inference on pro-poorness. Using repeated cross-sectional household survey data, we find that over the decade, there was a statistically significant absolute pro-poor growth in Poland for both disposable income and consumption. However, because of the increasing inequality, the rates of growth for incomes and consumption of the poor were generally lower than those of the non-poor. For this reason, economic growth over the decade was anti-poor in relative terms. The pro-poorness indices used suggest that the only episode of relative pro-poorness was for income growth during fast-growth years from 2005 to 2008. This result holds, however, only for a limited range of possible poverty lines.
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