Publication: Pro-Poor Growth: A Primer
These days it seems that almost everyone in the development community is talking about "pro-poor growth." What exactly is it, and how can we measure it? Is ordinary economic growth always "pro-poor growth" or is that some special kind of growth? And if it is something special, what makes it happen? The author first reviews alternative approaches to defining and measuring "pro-poor growth." He then analyzes evidence on whether growth is pro-poor, what factors make it more pro-poor (including the role played by both initial inequality and changing inequality), and whether the factors that make the distribution of the gains from growth pro-poor come at a cost to growth. The author identifies some priorities for future research.
“Ravallion, Martin. 2004. Pro-Poor Growth: A Primer. Policy Research Working Paper;No.3242. © World Bank, Washington, D.C.. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/14116 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
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PublicationGovernment Connections and Financial Constraints : Evidence from a Large Representative Sample of Chinese Firms(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-02)This paper examines the role of firms' government connections, defined by government intervention in the appointments of Chief Executive Officers and the status of state ownership, in determining the severity of financial constraints faced by Chinese firms. In line with the previous literature, the paper demonstrates that investment by non-state firms is highly sensitive to internal cash flows, while no such sensitivity is found for government-owned enterprises. Even within the subset of non-state firms, government connections are associated with substantially less severe financial constraints (less reliance on internal cash flows to fund investment). The paper also finds that large non-state firms with weak government connections are especially financially constrained, due perhaps to the formidable hold that their state rivals have on financial resources after the "grabbing-the-big-and-letting-go-the-small" privatization program in China. Firms with government-appointed Chief Executive Officers also have significantly lower investment intensities, due perhaps to their lower-powered incentives. The empirical results suggest that government connections play an important role in explaining Chinese firms' investment behavior and financing conditions, and provide further evidence on the nature of the misallocation of credit by China's dominant state-owned banks.
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PublicationPoverty, Inequality, and the Local Natural Resource Curse(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-02)The extent to which local communities benefit from commodity booms has been subject to wide but inconclusive investigations. This paper draws from a new district-level database to investigate the local impact on socioeconomic outcomes of mining activity in Peru, which grew almost twentyfold in the last two decades. The authors find evidence that producing districts have better average living standards than otherwise similar districts: larger household consumption, lower poverty rate, and higher literacy. However, the positive impacts from mining decrease significantly with administrative and geographic distance from the mine, while district-level consumption inequality increases in all districts belonging to a producing province. The inequalizing impact of mining activity, both across and within districts, may explain part of the current social discontent with mining activities in the country, even despite its enormous revenues.