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Inequality and the Dynamics of Poverty and Growth

  • Ali A. Ali
  • Ibrahim A. Elbadawi
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    This paper models the dynamic interactions between growth and distribution in the analysis of the behavior of poverty over time. The model permits formal analysis of the factors that led to the growth collapse as well as the rise in poverty in Africa and other developing regions, except Asia, during 1975-96 period. Using indicators of average country performance during this period-- in terms of the rate of acceleration of growth, changes in poverty and extent of inequality—the model suggests tentative strategies for dealing with poverty. The main policy recommendation of this analysis is that, for the majority of countries—36 out of 47—any serious strategy for poverty reduction must include both policies for accelerating growth as well as measures for effecting more equitable income distribution. Moreover, the latter must be sufficiently deep either to shake-off the "transitional", though lingering, "low equilibrium trap" that characterizes some economies; or to more others from the "bad" equilibrium of stationary, but high, poverty.

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    File URL: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/pdf/032.pdf
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    Paper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 32.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1999
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    Handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:32
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    1. Shaohua Chen & Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1993. "Is poverty increasing in the developing world?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1146, The World Bank.
    2. Easterly, William & Loayza, Norman & Montiel, Peter, 1997. "Has Latin America's post-reform growth been disappointing?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1708, The World Bank.
    3. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "The Kuznets process and the inequality--development relationship," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 25-52, February.
    4. Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," Scholarly Articles 4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    5. Daron Acemoglu & James A. Robinson, 2000. "Why Did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality, and Growth in Historical Perspective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1167-1199.
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    7. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1991. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth? Theory and Evidence," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt00x7n68q, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    8. Bruno, Michael & Ravallion, Martin & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Equity and growth in developing countries : old and new perspectives on the policy issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1563, The World Bank.
    9. Dani Rodrik, 1998. "Why Do More Open Economies Have Bigger Governments?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 997-1032, October.
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    13. Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999. "A Data Set on Income Distribution," CEMA Working Papers 575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    14. Easterly, William & Kremer, Michael & Pritchett, Lant & Summers, Lawrence H., 1993. "Good policy or good luck?: Country growth performance and temporary shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 459-483, December.
    15. Domowitz, Ian & Elbadawi, Ibrahim, 1987. "An error-correction approach to money demand : The case of Sudan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 257-275, August.
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    17. Anand, Sudhir & Kanbur, S. M. R., 1993. "Inequality and development A critique," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 19-43, June.
    18. Hongyi Li & Heng-fu Zou, 1998. "Income Inequality Is Not Harmful for Growth: Theory and Evidence," CEMA Working Papers 74, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
    19. Ahluwalia, Montek S. & Carter, Nicholas G. & Chenery, Hollis B., 1979. "Growth and poverty in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 299-341, August.
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    22. Ahluwalia, Montek S., 1976. "Inequality, poverty and development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 307-342, December.
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