IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/5012.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Too poor to grow

Author

Listed:
  • Lopez, Humberto
  • Serven, Luis

Abstract

Recent theoretical literature has suggested a variety of mechanisms through which poverty may deter growth and become self-perpetuating. A few papers have searched for empirical regularities consistent with those mechanisms – such as aggregate non-convexities and convergence clubs. However, a seemingly basic implication of the theoretical models, namely that countries suffering from higher levels of poverty should grow less rapidly, has remained untested. This paper attempts to fill that gap and provide a direct empirical assessment of the impact of poverty on growth. The paper’s strategy involves including poverty indicators among the explanatory variables in an otherwise standard empirical growth equation. Using a large panel dataset, the authors find that poverty has a negative impact on growth that is significant both statistically and economically. This result is robust to a variety of specification changes, including (i) different poverty lines; (ii) different poverty measures; (iii) different sets of control variables; (iv) different estimation methods; (v) adding inequality as a control variable; and (vi) allowing for nonlinear effects of inequality on growth. The paper also finds evidence that the adverse effect of poverty on growth works through investment: high poverty deters investment, which in turn lowers growth. Further, the data suggest that this mechanism only operates at low levels of financial development, consistent with the predictions of theoretical models that underscore financial market imperfections as a key ingredient of poverty traps.

Suggested Citation

  • Lopez, Humberto & Serven, Luis, 2009. "Too poor to grow," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5012, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5012
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2009/10/27/000158349_20091027164408/Rendered/PDF/WPS5102.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bryan Graham & Jonathan Temple, 2006. "Rich Nations, Poor Nations: How Much Can Multiple Equilibria Explain?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 5-41, March.
    2. Kraay, Aart & Raddatz, Claudio, 2007. "Poverty traps, aid, and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 315-347, March.
    3. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    4. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    5. Ben-David, Dan, 1998. "Convergence clubs and subsistence economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 155-171, February.
    6. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Empirical cross-section dynamics in economic growth," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 426-434, April.
    7. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    8. McKenzie, David J & Woodruff, Christopher, 2006. "Do Entry Costs Provide an Empirical Basis for Poverty Traps? Evidence from Mexican Microenterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 3-42, October.
    9. Francisca Antman & David McKenzie, 2007. "Poverty traps and nonlinear income dynamics with measurement error and individual heterogeneity," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 1057-1083.
    10. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1994. "Poverty, Incentives, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 211-215, May.
    11. Azariadis, Costas & Stachurski, John, 2005. "Poverty Traps," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, Elsevier.
    12. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
    13. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    14. David F. Hendry & Hans‐Martin Krolzig, 2004. "We Ran One Regression," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(5), pages 799-810, December.
    15. David F. Hendry & Hans-Martin Krolzig, 2004. "We Ran One Regression," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(5), pages 799-810, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Hallegatte, Stephane, 2012. "A cost effective solution to reduce disaster losses in developing countries : hydro-meteorological services, early warning, and evacuation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6058, The World Bank.
    2. Aterido, Reyes & Beck, Thorsten & Iacovone, Leonardo, 2011. "Gender and finance in Sub-Saharan Africa : are women disadvantaged ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5571, The World Bank.
    3. Martin Ravallion, 2012. "Why Don't We See Poverty Convergence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 504-523, February.
    4. Aterido, Reyes & Beck, Thorsten & Iacovone, Leonardo, 2013. "Access to Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Is There a Gender Gap?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 102-120.
    5. Jensen, Nathan & Valdivia, Corinne, 2010. "Correlation between Access to Capitals and Income in the Bolivian Altiplano," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61517, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Alderman, Harold & Yemtsov, Ruslan, 2012. "Productive role of safety nets : background paper for the World Bank 2012-2022 social protection and labor strategy," Social Protection Discussion Papers and Notes 67609, The World Bank.
    7. Goñi, Edwin & Humberto López, J. & Servén, Luis, 2011. "Fiscal Redistribution and Income Inequality in Latin America," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(9), pages 1558-1569, September.
    8. cyrine hannafi & Christophe Muller, 2016. "The Poverty-Economic Growth-Health Triangle," EcoMod2016 9587, EcoMod.
    9. Loayza, Norman & Rigolini, Jamele & Llorente, Gonzalo, 2012. "Do middle classes bring about institutional reforms?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(3), pages 440-444.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Marrero,Gustavo Alberto & Serven,Luis, 2018. "Growth, Inequality, and Poverty : A Robust Relationship?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8578, The World Bank.
    2. Martin Ravallion, 2013. "The Idea of Antipoverty Policy," NBER Working Papers 19210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Martin Ravallion, 2012. "Why Don't We See Poverty Convergence?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 504-523, February.
    4. Marrero, Gustavo A. & Rodríguez, Juan G., 2013. "Inequality of opportunity and growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 107-122.
    5. Gravier-Rymaszewska, Joanna & Tyrowicz, Joanna & Kochanowicz, Jacek, 2010. "Intra-provincial inequalities and economic growth in China," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 237-258, September.
    6. Daniel Halter & Manuel Oechslin & Josef Zweimüller, 2014. "Inequality and growth: the neglected time dimension," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 81-104, March.
    7. Roberto Dell'Anno & Adalgiso Amendola, 2015. "Social Exclusion and Economic Growth: An Empirical Investigation in European Economies," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 274-301, June.
    8. Amparo Castelló-Climent, 2010. "Inequality and growth in advanced economies: an empirical investigation," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 8(3), pages 293-321, September.
    9. Acosta, Pablo & Calderon, Cesar & Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lopez, Humberto, 2008. "What is the Impact of International Remittances on Poverty and Inequality in Latin America?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 89-114, January.
    10. Veronica Amarante, 2014. "Revisiting Inequality and Growth: Evidence for Developing Countries," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 571-589, December.
    11. Jakub Bartak & Łukasz Jabłoński, 2020. "Inequality and growth: What comes from the different inequality measures?," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(2), pages 185-212, April.
    12. Neves, Pedro Cunha & Afonso, Óscar & Silva, Sandra Tavares, 2016. "A Meta-Analytic Reassessment of the Effects of Inequality on Growth," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 386-400.
    13. Fuad Hasanov & Oded Izraeli, 2011. "Income Inequality, Economic Growth, And The Distribution Of Income Gains: Evidence From The U.S. States," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 518-539, August.
    14. Andrew Berg & Jonathan D. Ostry & Charalambos G. Tsangarides & Yorbol Yakhshilikov, 2018. "Redistribution, inequality, and growth: new evidence," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 259-305, September.
    15. Iyke, Bernard Njindan & Ho, Sin-Yu, 2017. "Income Inequality and Growth: New Insights from Italy," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 70(4), pages 419-442.
    16. Azariadis, Costas & Stachurski, John, 2005. "Poverty Traps," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, Elsevier.
    17. Shinhye Chang & Rangan Gupta & Stephen M. Miller, 2018. "Causality Between Per Capita Real GDP and Income Inequality in the U.S.: Evidence from a Wavelet Analysis," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 269-289, January.
    18. Steven N. Durlauf & Andros Kourtellos & Chih Ming Tan, 2008. "Empirics of Growth and Development," Chapters, in: Amitava Krishna Dutt & Jaime Ros (ed.), International Handbook of Development Economics, Volumes 1 & 2, volume 0, chapter 3, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Amparo Castelló-Climent, 2004. "A Reassessment Of The Relationship Between Inequality And Growth: What Human Capital Inequality Data Say?," Working Papers. Serie EC 2004-15, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    20. Adnen Ben Nasr & Mehmet Balcilar & Rangan Gupta & Seyi Saint Akadiri, 2018. "Asymmetric Effects of Inequality on Per Capita Real GDP of the United States," Working Papers 201820, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Free Trade; Trade Law; Economic Theory&Research; Trade Policy; Currencies and Exchange Rates;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5012. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.