IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

A counterfactual analysis of the poverty impact of economic growth in Cameroon

  • Essama-Nssah, B.
  • Bassole, Leandre

The Government of Cameroon has declared poverty reduction through strong and sustainable economic growth the central objective of its socioeconomic policy. This paper uses available household survey data to assess the performance of the economy with respect to this objective over the period 1996-2007. The authors use counterfactual decompositions based on both the Shapley method and the generalized Oaxaca-Blinder framework to identify proximate factors that might explain differences in observed outcomes over time, across regions and households. The concept of pro-poorness provides a basis for a normative evaluation of these outcomes. The analysis of changes in the size distribution of economic welfare reveals that formal sector employment, access to credit, education, and urban residence are characteristics that bring significantly high returns to households. Employment in smallholder agriculture has a negative impact on welfare across quantiles. Economic growth was accompanied by significant poverty reduction between 1996 and 2001. But poverty barely decreased between 2001 and 2007 due to very weak growth. Over the same period, household investment in human capital took a serious hit. Given the additional finding that the pattern of growth is characterized by urban bias and regional disparity, the overall assessment is that economic growth has been weakly pro-poor in Cameroon. There is therefore a need to re-examine and possibly reform the mechanisms governing the allocation of public resources designed to support individuals'efforts to improve their standard of living.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5249.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5249
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
  2. Emini, Christian Arnault & Cockburn, John & Decaluwe, Bernard, 2005. "The poverty impacts of the Doha Round in Cameroon : the role of tax policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3746, The World Bank.
  3. Blaise Melly, 2005. "Public-private sector wage differentials in Germany: Evidence from quantile regression," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 505-520, 09.
  4. Stanislav Kolenikov & Anthony Shorrocks, 2005. "A Decomposition Analysis of Regional Poverty in Russia," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(1), pages 25-46, 02.
  5. B. Essama-Nssah & Peter J. Lambert, 2009. "Measuring Pro-Poorness: A Unifying Approach With New Results," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(3), pages 752-778, 09.
  6. Essama-Nssah, B., 2007. "A poverty-focused evaluation of commodity tax options," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4245, The World Bank.
  7. 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.
  8. Francis Menjo Baye, 2006. "Growth, Redistribution and Poverty Changes in Cameroon: A Shapley Decomposition Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(4), pages 543-570, December.
  9. Nguyen, Binh T. & Albrecht, James W. & Vroman, Susan B. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 2007. "A quantile regression decomposition of urban-rural inequality in Vietnam," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 466-490, July.
  10. Farshid Vahid & Pushkar Maitra, 2006. "The effect of household characteristics on living standards in South Africa 1993-1998: a quantile regression analysis with sample attrition," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 999-1018.
  11. Farshid Vahid & Pushkar Maitra, 2005. "The Effect of Household Characteristics on Living Standards in South Africa 1993 - 98: A Quantile Regression Analysis with Sample Attrition," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2005-452, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  12. B. Essama-Nssah, 2007. "A poverty-focused evaluation of commodity tax options," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(8), pages 1114-1130.
  13. 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.
  14. Melly, Blaise, 2005. "Decomposition of differences in distribution using quantile regression," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 577-590, August.
  15. Lambert, Peter J & Aronson, J Richard, 1993. "Inequality Decomposition Analysis and the Gini Coefficient Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1221-27, September.
  16. Arsene Gideon Nkama, 2006. "Analysing the Poverty Impact of the HIPC Initiative in Cameroon," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 18(3), pages 330-352.
  17. Bauer, Thomas K. & Sinning, Mathias, 2006. "An Extension of the Blinder-Oaxaca Decomposition to Non-Linear Models," RWI Discussion Papers 49, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (RWI).
  18. Mathia Sinning & Markus Hahn & Thomas K. Bauer, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for nonlinear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 480-492, December.
  19. Essama-Nssah, B., 2005. "A unified framework for pro-poor growth analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 216-221, November.
  20. Jacques Silber & Michal Weber, 1999. "Labour market discrimination: are there significant differences between the various decomposition procedures?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 359-365.
  21. Nanak Kakwani & Hyun H. Son, 2008. "Poverty Equivalent Growth Rate," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 54(4), pages 643-655, December.
  22. Markus Frolich & Blaise Melly, 2010. "Estimation of quantile treatment effects with Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(3), pages 423-457, September.
  23. François Bourguignon & Francisco Ferreira & Phillippe Leite, 2008. "Beyond Oaxaca–Blinder: Accounting for differences in household income distributions," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 117-148, June.
  24. Coulombe, Harold & Mckay, Andrew, 1996. "Modeling determinants of poverty in Mauritania," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1015-1031, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5249. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.