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Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper

Growth, Distribution, and Poverty in Africa : Messages from the 1990s

HOUSEHOLD WELFARE INDICATORS; POVERTY MEASUREMENT; ECONOMIC GROWTH; ECONOMIC POLICY; MARKET LIBERALIZATION; MACROECONOMIC STABILITY; VULNERABLE GROUPS; ACCESS TO LAND; EDUCATIONAL LEVEL; RAINFALL MEASUREMENT; SOCIAL PROTECTION SYSTEMS; ACCESS TO HEALTH SERVICES; HEALTH STATISTICS; LIVING STANDARDS INDICATORS; INCOME LEVELS; MALNUTRITION; HUMAN DEVELOPMENT; POVERTY INCIDENCE; MACROECONOMIC REFORM; POVERTY REDUCTION; INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE; INCOME DISTRIBUTION ADVERSE EFFECTS AGGREGATE LEVEL ASSET INDEX BUREAUCRACY BUREAUCRATIC QUALITY CONSUMPTION DISTRIBUTION CONSUMPTION INEQUALITY CONSUMPTION POVERTY CORRUPTION COUNTRY ESTIMATES COUNTRY SPECIFIC DATA SETS DEMOCRATIC ACCOUNTABILITY DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS DISTRIBUTIONAL CHANGE ECONOMIC DECLINE ECONOMIC GROWTH ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT ECONOMIC POLICY ECONOMIC RECESSION ECONOMIC REFORM ECONOMIC WELFARE EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE ESCAPE POVERTY EXCHANGE RATE EXCHANGE RATE POLICY EXPLAINING CHANGES EXTERNAL SHOCKS FOOD CONSUMPTION FOOD NEEDS GINI COEFFICIENT GINI INDEX GOOD GOVERNANCE GROWTH GROWTH PATH GROWTH RATE GROWTH REGRESSIONS HEAD-COUNT RATIO HEADCOUNT POVERTY HEALTH SURVEYS HIGH INEQUALITY HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION HOUSEHOLD DATA HOUSEHOLD EXPENDITURES HOUSEHOLD LEVEL HOUSEHOLD SURVEY HUMAN CAPITAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INCOME INCOME DATA INCOME DISTRIBUTION INCOME GROUPS INCOME INEQUALITY INCOME POVERTY INCOME QUINTILES INCREASING INEQUALITY INEQUALITY INEQUALITY MEASURES INFANT MORTALITY INSTITUTIONAL CHANGE INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTIONAL QUALITY INTERNATIONAL TRADE LIVING STANDARDS LONG TERM MACROECONOMIC POLICY MEAN CONSUMPTION MEAN EXPENDITURE MEAN INCOMES NATIONAL INCOME NUTRITION POLICY REFORMS POLICY RESEARCH POLICY STANCE POLITICAL INSTABILITY POLITICAL REFORMS POLITICAL STABILITY POOR HOUSEHOLDS POOR PEOPLE POPULATION GROUPS POVERTY CHANGE POVERTY DYNAMICS POVERTY GAP POVERTY HEADCOUNT POVERTY IMPACT POVERTY INCREASE POVERTY LINE POVERTY LINES POVERTY MEASURE POVERTY OUTCOMES POVERTY REDUCTION POVERTY REDUCTION STRATEGY POVERTY TRENDS PRIMARY SCHOOL PRIVATE CONSUMPTION PRO-POOR PRO-POOR GROWTH PUBLIC SERVICES REDUCING POVERTY RELATIVE IMPORTANCE RULE OF LAW SOCIAL PROTECTION STATE INTERVENTION TERMS OF TRADE TRADE LIBERALIZATION UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION URBAN CENTERS WELFARE MEASURE
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World Bank, Washington, D.C.
Africa
2013-08-06T16:34:05Z | 2013-08-06T16:34:05Z | 2002-03

Christiaensen, Demery, and Paternostro review recent evidence on the trends in household well-being in Africa during the 1990s. They draw on the findings of a series of studies on poverty dynamics that use the better data sets now available. The authors begin by taking a broad view of poverty, tracing changes in both income poverty and in other more direct measures of individual welfare. Experiences have been varied: several countries have seen a sharp decline in poverty, while some have witnessed a marked increase. Yet, in the aggregate, economic growth has been pro-poor. Nonetheless, the aggregate numbers also hide significant and systematic distributional effects which have caused some groups to be left behind. The authors draw four key conclusions: Economic policy reforms (improving macroeconomic balances and liberalizing markets) have been conducive to reducing poverty. Market connectedness is key for the poor to benefit from new opportunities generated by economic growth. Some population groups and regions, by virtue of their sheer remoteness, have been left behind when growth picks up. Education and access to land further condition the extent to which households can benefit from economic opportunities and escape poverty. Finally, rainfall variations and ill health are found to have profound effects on poverty outcomes in Africa underscoring the significance of social protection in a poverty reduction strategy.

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