Links Between Growth, Inequality, and Poverty: A Survey

Author/Editor:

Valerie Cerra ; Ruy Lama ; Norman Loayza

Publication Date:

March 12, 2021

Electronic Access:

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Disclaimer: IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

Summary:

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.

Series:

Working Paper No. 2021/068

Frequency:

regular

English

Publication Date:

March 12, 2021

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513572666/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2021068

Format:

Paper

Pages:

54

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