The central fact that has motivated the empirics of economic growth—namely unconditional divergence—is no longer true and has not been so for decades.
The IMF’s concessional support for low-income countries (LICs) is provided primarily through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). Since the start of the pandemic, lending from the PRGT has risen very sharply in response to the unprecedented and urgent needs of LICs; total PRGT credit outstanding nearly doubled during 2020 to far exceed past peaks. This note considers possible financing sources, taking into account legal, political, and practical constraints including the timeliness with which different resources could be mobilized.
The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns and Expanded Social Assistance on Inequality, Poverty and Mobility in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico
Based on the economic sector in which household members work, we use microsimulation to estimate the distributional consequences of COVID-19-induced lockdown policies in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Our estimates of the poverty consequences are worse than many others’ projections because we do not assume that the income losses are proportionally equal across the income distribution.
The Impact of Taxes and Transfers on Income Inequality, Poverty, and the Urban-Rural and Regional Income Gaps in China
China is characterized by high prefiscal overall, urban-rural and regional inequality. Applying standard fiscal incidence analysis, we estimate the redistributive effect of taxes and social spending on income distribution and poverty.
Social Protection Amidst Social Upheaval: Examining the Impact of a Multi-Faceted Program for Ultra-Poor Households in Yemen
We study the impact of a multi-faceted social protection program, often referred to as a “graduation” model program, in Yemen during a period of civil unrest. After four years we find positive impacts on asset accumulation and savings behavior, albeit substantially less than the amount the household originally received.
How does immigration affect incomes in the countries migrants go to, and how do rising incomes shape emigration from the countries they leave? The answers depend on whether people who migrate have higher or lower productivity than people who do not migrate.
Many governments seek to reduce emigration from low-income countries by encouraging economic development there. A large literature, however, observes that average emigration rates are higher in countries with sustained increases in GDP per capita than in either chronically poor countries or established rich countries.
Globalization is under attack.US isolationism is part of a worldwide phenomenon: anti-globalizers have risen to power in countries from Brazil and Hungary to the UK. And they led efforts to build walls real and virtual against trade and exchange. From the intellectual right, globalization is blamed for cultural decay. From the left it is attacked as a source of inequality and repression.
In a post-COVID-19 context, what type of economic growth will most likely end global poverty and reduce inequality? We conclude that in the aftermath of the pandemic, countries will need to pursue historically unprecedented growth paths in order to achieve the poverty and inequality Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The IMF’s forecasts of GDP growth in 2020 suggest a substantially muted impact of the COVID crisis for developing countries compared to advanced economies. We hope that the relative optimism will not induce complacency and elicit a less-than-forceful response by countries themselves nor legitimize an ungenerous, conditionality-addled response on the part of the international community in the face of an unprecedented calamity.
There can be little doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge threat to the world’s poor. There is, of course, the direct threat from the new coronavirus, to be taken seriously by everyone. But there are other threats looming too, and some no less worrying.
With a little more care to take context and the confounding attributes that make female-headed households (FHHs) particularly prone to poverty into account, this paper argues that headship can be useful for identifying poor households in Africa.
Canonical models of crime emphasize economic incentive. Yet, causal evidence of sorting into criminal occupations in response to individual-level variation in incentives is limited. We link administrative socioeconomic microdata with the universe of arrests in Medellín over a decade. We exploit exogenous variation in formal-sector employment around a socioeconomic-score cutoff, below which individuals receive benefits if not formally employed, to test whether a higher cost to formal-sector employment induces crime. Regression discontinuity estimates show this policy generated reductions in formal-sector employment and a corresponding spike in organized crime, but no effects on crimes of impulse or opportunity.
Who are the world’s poor? This paper presents a new global profile of multidimensional poverty using three specifications of multidimensional poverty.
I argue that we did learn two very important things from growth research, and these were learned from research in the strong sense that they changed people’s views from a previous view that was incorrect.
Three Decades of Poverty Mobility in Nigeria: The Trapped, the Freed, and the Never Trapped - Working Paper 485
Individuals do escape poverty during periods of overall rise in the poverty rate; they also transit into poverty during periods of overall decline in the poverty rate. In this paper, I explore six sweeps of household surveys of Nigeria (1980–2010) in an attempt to address these concerns. In addition, I test whether different processes are at work in determining chronic and transient poverty.
The paper critically reviews the arguments for and against both employment guarantees and income guarantees when viewed as rights-based policy instruments for poverty reduction in a developing economy, with special reference to India. Evidence on India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act does not suggest that the potential for either providing work when needed or reducing current poverty is being realized, despite pro-poor targeting. Instead, work is often rationed by local leaders in poor areas, and the poverty impact is small when all the costs are considered.
Drawing on six sweeps of household surveys of Nigeria that together span 1980–2010 with a pooled sample size of about 97,000 households and data on Nigeria’s age-gender-specific life expectancy from the World Health Organization, this paper shows that about 72 percent to 91 percent of Nigeria’s poor are at risk of spending their entire life below the poverty line.