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Inequality is bad for the poor

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  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

It has been argued that inequality should be of little concern in poor countries on the grounds that (1) absolute poverty in terms of consumption (or income) is the overriding issue in poor countries, and (2) the only thing that really matters to reducing absolute income poverty is the rate of economic growth. The author takes (1) as given but questions (2). He argues that there are a number of ways in which the extent of inequality in a society, and how it evolves over time, influences the extent of poverty today and the prospects for rapid poverty reduction in the future.

Suggested Citation

  • Ravallion, Martin, 2005. "Inequality is bad for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3677, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3677
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 357-382, May.
    2. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    3. Deininger, Klaus & Squire, Lyn, 1998. "New ways of looking at old issues: inequality and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 259-287.
    4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    5. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2005. "Hidden impact? Household saving in response to a poor-area development project," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(11-12), pages 2183-2204, December.
    6. Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Growth, Inequality and Poverty: Looking Beyond Averages," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1803-1815, November.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 465-490.
    8. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1996. "How Important to India's Poor Is the Sectoral Composition of Economic Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 10(1), pages 1-25, January.
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    12. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
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    24. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Hyun H. Son & Nanak Kakwani, 2004. "Economic growth and poverty reduction: initial conditions matter," Working Papers 2, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
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    1. End of year catch-up: FairTrade, mobility, African exports, stinginess, malaria, poverty traps, inequality, 2007 predictions
      by Jim in Our Word is Our Weapon on 2007-01-01 01:12:35

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    Cited by:

    1. Donaldson, John A., 2008. "Growth is Good for Whom, When, How? Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Exceptional Cases," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 2127-2143, November.
    2. Gutierrez, Catalina & Orecchia, Carlo & Paci, Pierella & Serneels, Pieter, 2007. "Does employment generation really matter for poverty reduction ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4432, The World Bank.
    3. cyrine hannafi & Christophe Muller, 2016. "The Poverty-Economic Growth-Health Triangle," EcoMod2016 9587, EcoMod.
    4. Ugo Gentilini & Patrick Webb, 2005. "How Are We Doing on Poverty and Hunger Reduction?: A New Measure of Country-Level Progress," Working Papers in Food Policy and Nutrition 31, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.
    5. repec:bla:sajeco:v:84:y:2016:i:4:p:624-635 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Francesco Schettino & Alberto Gabriele, 2008. "Child malnutrition and mortality in China and Vietnam in a comparative perspective," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 29-59, March.
    7. Dominique van de Walle & Dorothyjean Cratty, 2004. "Is the emerging non-farm market economy the route out of poverty in Vietnam?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(2), pages 237-274, June.
    8. Iniguez-Montiel, Alberto Javier, 2014. "Growth with Equity for the Development of Mexico: Poverty, Inequality, and Economic Growth (1992–2008)," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 313-326.
    9. repec:ags:ijfaec:266465 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Perera, Liyanage Devangi H. & Lee, Grace H.Y., 2013. "Have economic growth and institutional quality contributed to poverty and inequality reduction in Asia?," MPRA Paper 52763, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Gabriele, Alberto & Schettino, Francesco, 2007. "Child Malnutrition and Mortality in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Cross-Country Analysis," MPRA Paper 3132, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jul 2007.
    12. Nicole Alice Sindzingre, 2008. "From Growth to Poverty Reduction: a New Conceptual Framework in Development Economics," Post-Print halshs-00648001, HAL.
    13. Alberto, Gabriele & Schettino, Francesco, 2006. "Child Mortality In China And Vietnam In A Comparative Perspective," MPRA Paper 3987, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Dec 2006.

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