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Ms. Valerie Cerra, Mr. Ruy Lama, and Norman Loayza
Is there a tradeoff between raising growth and reducing inequality and poverty? This paper reviews the theoretical and empirical literature on the complex links between growth, inequality, and poverty, with causation going in both directions. The evidence suggests that growth can be effective in reducing poverty, but its impact on inequality is ambiguous and depends on the underlying sources of growth. The impact of poverty and inequality on growth is likewise ambiguous, as several channels mediate the relationship. But most plausible mechanisms suggest that poverty and inequality reduce growth, at least in the long run. Policies play a role in shaping these relationships and those designed to improve equality of opportunity can simultaneously improve inclusiveness and growth.
Mr. Alexei P Kireyev and Jingyang Chen
The paper suggests an operationally usable framework for the evaluation of growth inclusiveness—the inclusive growth framework (IGF). Based on the data on growth, poverty, and inequality, the framework allows for the quantitative assessment of growth inclusiveness. The assessment relies on the decomposition of the change in poverty into growth, distribution, and decile effects, which can be calculated using the Distributive Analysis Stata Package (DASP). Availability of at least two household surveys is the main precondition for the use of the IGF. The application of the IGF is illustrated with two country cases of Senegal and Djibouti.
Mr. Alexei P Kireyev
The paper examines the poverty-reducing and distributional characteristics of Djibouti’s economic growth, and discusses policies that might help make growth more inclusive. It covers the period between 2002 and 2013, for which comparable household surveys are available. The main findings are that while in the past decade the overall level of poverty in Djibouti declined, there have been no clear signs of improvements in either equality or growth inclusiveness. Growth has not been inclusive and benefitted mainly those in the upper part of the income distribution. These conclusions should be treated as indicative. Progress in poverty reduction and inclusiveness would require not only sustained high growth but also the creation of opportunities in sectors with high earning potential for the poor. Better targeted social policies and more attention to the regional distribution of spending would also help reduce poverty and improve inclusiveness.
Mr. Mauricio Vargas and Santiago Garriga
We investigate the factors driving Bolivia’s success in reducing inequality and poverty during the last 15 years. Our evidence suggests that the reduction was driven mainly by labor income growth at the bottom end of the income distribution. Increases in non-labor income (rents, transfers, remittances) also played a role, but a smaller one, although the introduction of Renta Dignidad has made a big difference for the elderly poor. Labor income increases were concentrated in the informal, low-skilled service and manufacturing sectors. As the gains from the commodity boom go into reverse, and the fiscal envelope becomes much tighter, it will be essential that labor and social policies are well designed and targeted to preserve the poverty and inequality reduction of the last 15 years.
Mr. Daouda Sembene
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have shown strong signs of growth resilience in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. Yet, this paper finds evidence that growth has more than proportionately benefited the top quintile during PRSP implementation. It finds that PRSP implementation has neither reduced poverty headcount nor raised the income share of the poorest quintile in Sub-Saharan Africa. While countries in other regions have been more successful in reducing poverty and increasing the income share of the poor, there is no conclusive evidence that PRSP implementation has played a role in shaping these outcomes.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Joint Staff Advisory Note on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for Togo, discusses that the new Strategy for Boosting Growth and Promoting Employment (SCAPE) presents the overarching reference framework for the Government’s development agenda and reflects the authorities’ aspiration to become, over the next 15–20 years, a middle income country, in which the rule of law and human rights are respected. The SCAPE draws upon the results of a nationally representative household survey (QUIBB). Being comprehensive, the SCAPE offers less in terms of prioritization. In light of persistent capacity constraints and limited financing, it would have been advantageous if the SCAPE had presented a clearer perspective on the Government’s role in the development process, if a more focused growth and social development strategy had been articulated, and if SCAPE’s implementation mechanisms had been closer aligned with existing decision-making mechanisms. The IMF staff suggests that the SCAPE’s analysis could be supplemented with additional analyses on the impact of SCAPE policies on poverty, inequality and (rural) employment.
Mr. Alexei P Kireyev
The paper examines Senegal’s growth performance from the perspective of its povertyreducing and distributional characteristics, and discusses policies that might help make growth more inclusive. The main findings are that poverty has fallen in the last two decades, but poverty reduction has slowed in recent years. Although available indicators sometimes give conflicting signals on distributional shifts, people in the middle of the income distribution have received the most benefit, mainly in urban areas. Further progress in poverty reduction and inclusiveness would require sustained high growth and exploration of growth opportunities in the sectors with high earning potential for the poor. Better-targeted social policies and more attention to the regional distribution of spending would also help reduce poverty and improve inclusiveness.
International Monetary Fund
The report gives details of the economic analysis for the implementation of Chile's inflation targeting framework. It reviews the current state of liquidity in the Chilean fixed-income markets and developments and impediments to the supply of corporate bonds to the market. The paper considers a number of microstructure issues, transparency in the Over-the-Counter (OTC) market, addresses the role of public debt in facilitating development of the financial markets, and discusses a potential debt management framework that would support the development of a liquid public debt market.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.