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The impact of roads on poverty reduction : a case study of Cameroon

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  • Gachassin, Marie
  • Najman, Boris
  • Raballand, Gael

Abstract

Many investments in infrastructure are built on the belief that they will ineluctably lead to poverty reduction and income generation. This has entailed massive aid-financed projects in roads in developing countries. However, the lack of robust evaluations and a comprehensive theoretical framework could raise questions about current strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using the second Cameroonian national household survey (Enquete Camerounaise Aupres des Menages II, 2001) and the Cameroon case study, this paper demonstrates that investing uniformly in tarred roads in Africa is likely to have a much lower impact on poverty than expected. Isolation from a tarred road is found to have no direct impact on consumption expenditures in Cameroon. The only impact is an indirect one in the access to labor activities. This paper reasserts the fact that access to roads is only one factor contributing to poverty reduction (and not necessarily the most important in many cases). Considering that increase in non-farming activities is the main driver for poverty reduction in rural Africa, the results contribute to the idea that emphasis on road investments should be given to locations where non-farming activities could be developed, which does mean that the last mile in rural areas probably should not be a road.

Suggested Citation

  • Gachassin, Marie & Najman, Boris & Raballand, Gael, 2010. "The impact of roads on poverty reduction : a case study of Cameroon," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5209, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5209
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    Citations

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    1. repec:taf:jdevst:v:52:y:2016:i:9:p:1335-1356 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Douglas Gollin & Richard Rogerson, 2014. "Agriculture, Roads, and Economic Development in Uganda," NBER Chapters,in: African Successes, Volume IV: Sustainable Growth, pages 69-110 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sapkota, Jeet Bahadur, 2014. "Access to Infrastructure and Human Development:Cross-Country Evidence," Working Papers 70, JICA Research Institute.
    4. Stifel, David & Minten, Bart & Koro, Bethlehem, 2012. "Economic Benefits and Returns to Rural Feeder Roads: Evidence from a Quasi-Experimental Setting in Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 40, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Ali,Rubaba & Barra,Alvaro Federico & Berg,Claudia N. & Damania,Richard & Nash,John D. & Russ,Jason Daniel, 2015. "Infrastructure in conflict-prone and fragile environments : evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7273, The World Bank.
    6. Elodie Djemai, 2017. "Roads and the Spread of AIDS in Africa," Working Papers DT/2017/16, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    7. World Bank Group, "undated". "Africa's Pulse, No. 14, October 2016," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25097, The World Bank.
    8. Aparajita Goyal & John Nash, 2016. "Reaping Richer Returns, Preliminary Overview," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25782, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Rural Poverty Reduction; Regional Economic Development; Achieving Shared Growth;

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