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Growth, distribution, and poverty in Africa : messages from the 1990s

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  • Christiaensen, Luc
  • Demery, Lionel
  • Paternostro, Stefano

Abstract

review recent evidence on the trends in household well-being in Africa during the 1990s. They draw on the findings of a series of studies on poverty dynamics that use the better data sets now available. The authors begin by taking a broad view of poverty, tracing changes in both income poverty and in other more direct measures of individual welfare. Experiences have been varied: several countries have seen a sharp decline in poverty, while some have witnessed a marked increase. Yet, in the aggregate, economic growth has been pro-poor. Nonetheless, the aggregate numbers also hide significant and systematic distributional effects which have caused some groups to be left behind. The authors draw four key conclusions: Economic policy reforms (improving macroeconomic balances and liberalizing markets) have been conducive to reducing poverty. Market connectedness is key for the poor to benefit from new opportunities generated by economic growth. Some population groups and regions, by virtue of their sheer remoteness, have been left behind when growth picks up. Education and access to land further condition the extent to which households can benefit from economic opportunities and escape poverty. Finally, rainfall variations and ill health are found to have profound effects on poverty outcomes in Africa underscoring the significance of social protection in a poverty reduction strategy.

Suggested Citation

  • Christiaensen, Luc & Demery, Lionel & Paternostro, Stefano, 2002. "Growth, distribution, and poverty in Africa : messages from the 1990s," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2810, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2810
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rizwana Siddiqui, 2008. "Income, Public Social Services, and Capability Development : A Cross-district Analysis of Pakistan," Development Economics Working Papers 22221, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    2. Kassie, Girma T. & Abdulai, Awudu & Greene, William H. & Shiferaw, Bekele & Abate, Tsedeke & Tarekegne, Amsal & Sutcliffe, Chloe, 2017. "Modeling Preference and Willingness to Pay for Drought Tolerance (DT) in Maize in Rural Zimbabwe," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 465-477.
    3. Barrios, Salvador & Ouattara, Bazoumana & Strobl, Eric, 2008. "The impact of climatic change on agricultural production: Is it different for Africa?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 287-298, August.
    4. Samuel Fambon, 2005. "Croissance économique, pauvreté et inégalité des revenus au Cameroun," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 13(1), pages 91-122.
    5. Anirudh Krishna & Daniel Lumonya & Milissa Markiewicz & Firminus Mugumya & Agatha Kafuko & Jonah Wegoye, 2006. "Escaping poverty and becoming poor in 36 villages of Central and Western Uganda," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(2), pages 346-370.
    6. Fan, Shenggen & Johnson, Michael & Saurkar, Anuja & Makombe, Tsitsi, 2008. "Investing in African agriculture to halve poverty by 2015:," IFPRI discussion papers 751, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    7. Schweickert, Rainer & Thiele, Rainer, 2004. "From Washington to post-Washington? Consensus policies and divergent developments in Latin America and Asia," Kiel Discussion Papers 408, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Brooks, Jonathan & Croppenstedt, Andre & Aggrey-Fynn, Emmanuel, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Ghana," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper Series 48523, World Bank.
    9. Lelli, Sara, 2004. "What Money Can't Buy: The Relevance of Income Redistribution for Functioning Levels," WIDER Working Paper Series 041, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    10. David E. Sahn & Stephen D. Younger, 2006. "Changes in inequality and poverty in Latin America: Looking beyond income to health and education," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 9, pages 215-234, November.
    11. Krishna, Anirudh, 2004. "Escaping Poverty and Becoming Poor: Who Gains, Who Loses, and Why?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 121-136, January.

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