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The composition of growth matters for poverty alleviation

  • Loayza, Norman V.
  • Raddatz, Claudio

This paper contributes to explain the cross-country heterogeneity of the poverty response to changes in economic growth. It does so by focusing on the structure of output growth. The paper presents a two-sector theoretical model that clarifies the mechanism through which the sectoral composition of growth and associated labor intensity can affect workers'wages and, thus, poverty alleviation. Then it presents cross-country empirical evidence that analyzes first, the differential poverty-reducing impact of sectoral growth at various levels of disaggregation, and the role of unskilled labor intensity in such differential impact. The paper finds evidence that not only the size of economic growth but also its composition matters for poverty alleviation, with the largest contributions from labor-intensive sectors (such as agriculture, construction, and manufacturing). The results are robust to the influence of outliers, alternative explanations, and various poverty measures.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4077.

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Date of creation: 01 Dec 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4077
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  1. Timothy Besley & Robin Burgess, 2003. "Halving Global Poverty," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 3-22, Summer.
  2. Liu, Jing & Nico van Leeuwen & Tri Thanh Vo & Rod Tyers & Thomas W. Hertel, 1998. "Disaggregating Labor Payments by Skill Level in GTAP," GTAP Technical Papers 314, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  3. Angus Deaton, 2004. "Measuring poverty in a growing world (or measuring growth in a poor world)," Working Papers 178, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  4. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Growth and redistribution components of changes in poverty measures : A decomposition with applications to Brazil and India in the 1980s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 275-295, April.
  5. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. " Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
  6. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  7. Thorbecke, Erik & Jung, Hong-Sang, 1996. "A multiplier decomposition method to analyze poverty alleviation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 279-300, March.
  8. Khan, Haider A., 1999. "Sectoral Growth and Poverty Alleviation: A Multiplier Decomposition Technique Applied to South Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 521-530, March.
  9. Suryahadi, Asep & Suryadarma, Daniel & Sumarto, Sudarno, 2009. "The effects of location and sectoral components of economic growth on poverty: Evidence from Indonesia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 109-117, May.
  10. Orazio P. Attanasio & Miguel Székely, 1998. "Household Savings and Income Distribution in Mexico," Research Department Publications 4152, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  11. Ravallion, Martin, 2004. "Pro-poor growth : A primer," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3242, The World Bank.
  12. Lopez, J. Humberto, 2004. "Pro-growth, pro-poor : is there a tradeoff?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3378, The World Bank.
  13. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
  14. Theo S Eicher & Cecilia Garcia Penalosa, . "Inequality and Growth," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0083, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
  15. Kraay, Aart, 2006. "When is growth pro-poor? Evidence from a panel of countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 198-227, June.
  16. 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.
  17. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Sami Bibi, 2005. "When is Economic Growth Pro-Poor? Evidence from Tunisia," Cahiers de recherche 0522, CIRPEE.
  19. Nanak Kakwani & Shahid Khandker & Hyun H. Son, 2004. "Pro-poor growth: concepts and measurement with country case studies," Working Papers 1, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  20. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 2002. "Why has economic growth been more pro-poor in some states of India than others?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 381-400, August.
  21. Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 2004. "China's (uneven) progress against poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3408, The World Bank.
  22. Chris Papageorgiou & Kaz Miyagiwa, . "The Elasticity of Substitution, Hicks' Conjectures, and Economic Growth," Departmental Working Papers 2003-08, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  23. Marcelo J. Moreira, 2003. "A Conditional Likelihood Ratio Test for Structural Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1027-1048, 07.
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