Growth, Inequality and Poverty

Prospects for Pro-Poor Economic Development

The relationship between growth, inequality, and poverty lies at the heart of development economics. This volume draws together many of the most important recent contributions to the controversies surrounding this topic. Some of the chapters help explain why there is profound disagreement on crucial issues of growth, poverty and inequality within academic circles, and among organizations and various groups active in the development field. Another central theme is the cross-country evidence on the relationship between growth and poverty, and the extent to which it is valid to draw policy conclusions from this empirical evidence. The volume also shows how new microeconomic techniques such as poverty maps and microsimulation models can be used to improve poverty analysis and the design of pro-poor policies. The overall conclusion points to the need for diverse strategies towards growth and poverty, rather than simple blanket policy rules. Initial conditions, specific country structures, and time horizons all play a significant role. Initial conditions affect the speed with which growth reduces poverty and can also determine whether policies such as trade liberalization have a pro-poor or an anti-poor outcome. Improved education is valuable in itself, and also contributes to poverty reduction; but its effect on inequality depends on supply and demand factors, which differ significantly across countries. Likewise, the quantitative impact on poverty of redistribution from the rich to the poor vis-à-vis an increase in total national income can vary greatly across countries. Hence the need for creative approaches to poverty which take full account of the specific circumstances of individual nations and which assign a central role to inequality analysis in the discussion of poverty-alleviation policies.

Table of contents
  1. Economic Policy, Distribution, and Poverty: The Nature of Disagreements
    Ravi Kanbur
  2. Growth is Good for the Poor
    David Dollar, Aart Kraay
  3. Growth, Inequality, and Poverty: Looking Beyond the Averages
    Martin Ravallion
  4. The Growth Elasticity of Poverty
    Rasmus Heltberg
    More Working Paper | The Poverty Elasticity of Growth
  5. Education is Good for the Poor: A Note on Dollar and Kraay
    Erich Gundlach, Jose Navarro de Pablo, Natascha Weisert
    More Working Paper | Education Is Good for the Poor
  6. Growth, Distribution, and Poverty Reduction: LDCs are Falling Further Behind
    Felix Naschold
  7. Redistribution Does Matter: Growth and Redistribution for Poverty Reduction
    Hulya Dagdeviren, Rolph van der Hoeven, John Weeks
    More Working Paper | Redistribution Does Matter
  8. Producing an Improved Geographic Profile of Poverty: Methodology and Evidence from Three Developing Countries
    Gabriel Demombynes, Chris Elbers, Jean O. Lanjouw, Peter Lanjouw, Johan A. Mistiaen, Berk Özler
    More Working Paper | Producing an Improved Geographic Profile of Poverty
  9. Twin Peaks: Distribution Dynamics of Economic Growth Across Indian States
    Sanghamitra Bandyopadhyay
    More Working Paper | Twin Peaks
  10. A Decomposition of Inequality and Poverty Changes in the Context of Macroeconomic Adjustment: A Microsimulation Study for Côte d'Ivoire
    Michael Grimm
    More Working Paper | A Decomposition of Inequality and Poverty Changes in the Context of Macroeconomic Adjustment
  11. Educational Expansion and Income Distribution: A Micro-Simulation for Ceará
    Francisco H.G. Ferreira, Phillippe Leite
    More Working Paper | The Effects of Expanding Education on the Distribution of Income in Ceará
  12. Growth, Income Distribution, and Poverty: A Review
    Arne Bigsten, Jörgen Levin
    More Working Paper | Growth, Income Distribution, and Poverty
Show all

'Growth, Inequality and Poverty, edited by Anthony Shorrocks and Rolph Van Der Hoeven, is a very useful addition to the literature on the subject. Perhaps for the first time, readers will see how the thinking has evolved, converged and where disagreements remain, all in one volume. Readers will also be able to learn about the cutting-edge technical analysis (econometric and otherwise) and observe it applied to countries and regions where poverty is rampant. This book will become an obligatory source for researchers in the subject and reading material for graduate and advanced undergraduate courses on development economics.' - Dr Nora Lustig, Rectora/President, Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, México

'In this well researched and excellently edited study an array of experts analyzes the relationships between poverty, inequality and growth. Although there is disagreement on many issues, there is growing agreement that poverty reduction and greater equality are not only desirable in themselves but are also good for economic growth.' - Paul Streeten, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Boston University, and founder and chair of the Board of World Development

'Together they make a valuable collection of papers on linkages between inequality and/or trade with growth and/or poverty researchers will find much of value in the volumes, and research students will find the reviews, methods and case studies informative and useful.' - Journal of International Development