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UNU-WIDER Concepts and Operationalization of Pro-Poor Growth

Support functions

A teenager wears torn rubber boots in a muddy local market in Bac Ha, Viet Nam. As of 2005 figures, half the world population—more than 3 billion people–is estimated to live on less than USD 2.50 a day. Bac Ha, Viet Nam. UN Photo/Kibae Park.

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WP/47 Concepts and Operationalization of Pro-Poor Growth

Growth that reduces poverty is often considered pro-poor regardless of whether the poor benefit from it more than the non-poor. Such growth could simply be termed poverty-reducing growth. This paper argues that for growth to be pro-poor it should disproportionally benefit the poor. The paper proposes an operational definition of pro-poor growth that restricts it to the cases in which the mean income of the poor increases proportionally more than that of the non-poor. A new index is proposed based exclusively on the redistributional component of poverty-gap changes obtained through an exact decomposition. It is then shown that this component measures how pro-poor growth is over a given period based on the above mentioned definition. The paper further presents several indicators for evaluating and monitoring the ‘pro-poorness’ of growth over time and concludes with an empirical illustration for the case of Honduras.
WIDER Working Paper
WP/47 Concepts and Operationalization of Pro-Poor Growth
Mario Negre
Publication date:
May 2010
ISBN 13 Web:
Copyright holder:
Copyright year:
pro-poor, growth, income, inequality, poverty decomposition, Honduras
C16, D31, D63, I32, O15, O54
Promoting Entrepreneurial Capacity
UNU-WIDER acknowledges the financial contributions to the research programme by the governments of Denmark (Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Finland (Ministry for Foreign Affairs), Sweden (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency—Sida) and the United Kingdom (Department for International Development).
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