Edited by Quentin Wodon
This volume provides a set of six case studies from West Africa.
These assess the benefits of growth (or the costs of a lack of growth)
in terms of poverty reduction in those countries. The first part of
this book describes the experience of two countries (Ghana and Senegal)
that achieved high levels of growth in the 1990s, and that also
experienced important reductions in poverty, even though growth was not
strictly pro-poor. The second part describes the experience of two
other countries (Burkina Faso and Cape Verde) that also achieved high
levels of growth in the 1990s, but where there was an initial
perception that growth did not lead to much poverty reduction. The more
detailed analysis of poverty presented here suggests however that these
two countries did witness a sharp reduction in their population share
in poverty, as would have been expected given their growth record.
Finally, in the third part, the authors argue that a lack of growth in
the 1990s in Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria has been a key reason for their
persistently high levels of poverty.
Overall, the case studies make a strong case for the positive impact
of growth on poverty reduction in West Africa. However, they also point
to the need to pay close attention to changes in inequality, because
such changes have limited the gains from growth for the poor in several
of the countries considered here.
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