Monday, August 30, 2010

Growth, Inequality and Poverty in Emerging and Transition Economies

Published in Transition Studies Review (Vol 16 No. 4), this paper explores the quality of economic growth in a sample of 50 emerging and transition economies (ETEs), which are countries experiencing a process of fast growth and institutional change. Economic growth during 1995–2006 is regressed against poverty, inequality and human development variables using OLS cross-country regression models.

The main findings are that growth did not reduce poverty and income inequality worsened too. On the one hand, economic growth occurred despite the worsening of income inequality. However, this result does not identify a ‘‘U-shaped’’ Kuznets curve because even after a consistent period of growth, inequality did not decrease and it remained at higher levels.

The paper observes that only countries with higher education levels and public expenditure in strategic dimensions seem to escape from this trap. On the other hand, growth occurred at the expense of an important human development variable i.e., life expectancy, and of an important indicator of democracy, i.e., voice and accountability. Click here to read more.

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