The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper focuses on two central issues related to the contrasting experiences of Malaysia and Pakistan regarding poverty reduction. First, it examines the structure of economic growth and its proximate determinants in the two countries, including the initial conditions, institutional changes, and macroeconomic policies. Second, it analyzes the links between economic growth and poverty reduction, particularly focusing on public policy mechanisms to reduce poverty and inequality. Malaysia, unlike Pakistan, was able to sustain rapid economic growth with equally impressive reduction in poverty because the governments included the poverty reduction goal in national development plans and pursued policies consistent with the twin goals.