Poverty and Economic Growth: Does Pro-Growth mean Pro-Poor?

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Poverty can grind down countries and people. Almost 15 years on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the debate rages on, with causes and remedies still surrounded by contention. The question many development economists are asking is: do pro-growth economic policies mean pro-poor? For if the answer is yes, then we can argue that poverty reduction policies should have an economic growth bias and the implications can be far reaching, affecting some of the most vulnerable people in society.

To underline the scale of the problem, globally, poverty remains remarkably high, with little progress made in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Bank data (Exhibit 1).

Exhibit 1: How Poverty has Evolved - 1985 to 2012

Even the m...