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When is growth pro-poor? Cross-country evidence

  • Kraay, Aart

Growth is pro-poor if the poverty measure of interest falls. According to this definition there are three potential sources of pro-poor growth: (1) a high rate of growth of average incomes; (2) a high sensitivity of poverty to growth in average incomes; and (3) a poverty-reducing pattern of growth in relative incomes. The author empirically decomposes changes in poverty in a large sample of developing countries during the 1980s and 1990s into these three components. In the medium to long run, most of the variation in changes in poverty can be attributed to growth in average incomes, suggesting that policies and institutions that promote broad-based growth should be central to the pro-poor growth agenda. Most of the remainder of the variation in poverty is due to poverty-reducing patterns of growth in relative incomes, rather than differences in the sensitivity of poverty to growth in average incomes. Cross-country evidence provides relatively little guidance as to the policies and institutions that promote these other sources of pro-poor growth.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3225.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3225
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  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. Mattias Lundberg & Lyn Squire, 2003. "The simultaneous evolution of growth and inequality," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(487), pages 326-344, 04.
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  8. Antonio Spilimbergo & Juan Luis Londoño & Miguel Székely, 1997. "Income Distribution, Factor Endowments, and Trade Openness," Research Department Publications 4088, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  9. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Can high-inequality developing countries escape absolute poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1775, The World Bank.
  10. Kakwani, Nanak, 1993. "Poverty and Economic Growth with Application to Cote d'Ivoire," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(2), pages 121-39, June.
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  12. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-82, May.
  13. Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
  14. Branko Milanovic, 2003. "CAN WE DISCERN THE EFFECT OF GLOBALIZATION ON INCOME DISTRIBUTION? Evidence from Household Budget Surveys," International Trade 0303004, EconWPA.
  15. Branko Milanovic, 2003. "Can We Discern The Effect Of Globalization On Income Distribution? Evidence From Household Surveys," HEW 0310002, EconWPA.
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