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On various ways of measuring pro-poor growth


  • Deutsch, Joseph
  • Silber, Jacques


This paper examines three possible approaches to pro-poor growth. The first one assumes that the poverty line remains constant in real terms over time. The second perspective examines the case where the poverty line is equal to half the median of the income distribution but assumes that such a poverty line is determined exogenously. Finally the authors also propose a third type of decomposition of the change in poverty, one which is obtained when the poverty line is assumed to be endogenous. In addition, whatever the assumption made concerning the poverty line, the authors take both a relative and an absolute approach to inequality measurement when defining pro-poor growth. With a relative approach to pro-poor growth it is assumed that inequality does not to vary when all incomes are multiplied by a constant whereas, with an absolute approach to pro-poor growth, inequality is supposed not to vary when an equal sum is added to all incomes. The empirical illustration covers the period 1990-2006 in Israel and the analysis is based on the use of the FGT poverty index. It turns out that the assumptions made concerning the way the poverty line is defined and the choice between a relative and an absolute approach to pro-poor growth greatly affect the results. As a whole however growth was pro-rich in Israel during the 1990-2006 period.

Suggested Citation

  • Deutsch, Joseph & Silber, Jacques, 2011. "On various ways of measuring pro-poor growth," Economics Discussion Papers 2011-13, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201113

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2002. "Growth Is Good for the Poor," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 195-225, September.
    2. 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.
    3. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-764, July.
    4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
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    7. Mercedes Sastre & Alain Trannoy, 2002. "Shapley inequality decomposition by factor components: Some methodological issues," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 51-89, December.
    8. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 2003. "Measuring pro-poor growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 93-99, January.
    9. Michael Grimm, 2007. "Removing the anonymity axiom in assessing pro-poor growth," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 5(2), pages 179-197, August.
    10. Nissanov, Zoya & Silber, Jacques, 2009. "On pro-poor growth and the measurement of convergence," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 270-272, December.
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    12. Bourguignon, Francois, 1979. "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 901-920, July.
    13. Grosse, Melanie & Harttgen, Kenneth & Klasen, Stephan, 2008. "Measuring Pro-Poor Growth in Non-Income Dimensions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1021-1047, June.
    14. Hyun Son, 2003. "A New Poverty Decomposition," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 1(2), pages 181-187, August.
    15. 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.
    16. Chantreuil, F. & Trannoy, A., 1999. "Inequality Decomposition Values: the Trade-Off Between Marginality and Consistency," Papers 99-24, Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor..
    17. Son, Hyun Hwa, 2004. "A note on pro-poor growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 307-314, March.
    18. Buhmann, Brigitte, et al, 1988. "Equivalence Scales, Well-Being, Inequality, and Poverty: Sensitivity Estimates across Ten Countries Using the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Database," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 34(2), pages 115-142, June.
    19. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marek Kosny, 2011. "Relative affluence measures and an identification of growth pattern," Working Papers 230, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    2. Ivica Rubil, 2013. "Accounting for Regional Poverty Differences in Croatia: Exploring the Role of Disparities in Average Income and Inequality," Working Papers 1301, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb.
    3. Francisco Azpitarte, 2014. "Was Pro-Poor Economic Growth in Australia for the Income-Poor? And for the Multidimensionally-Poor?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 871-905, July.
    4. Marek Kośny & Gastón Yalonetzky, 2015. "Relative income change and pro-poor growth," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 32(3), pages 311-327, December.
    5. Atika Pasha, 2015. "Regional Perspectives to the Multidimensional Poverty Index," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 188, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    6. Marek Kośny, 2012. "Relative Income Changes and an Identification of Growth Pattern," Working Papers 268, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    7. repec:eee:quaeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:82-93 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    inequality; Israel; pro-poor growth; Watts index;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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