Publication:
Is Green Growth Good for the Poor?

Loading...
Thumbnail Image
Files in English
English PDF (313.51 KB)
1,332 downloads
English Text (71 KB)
91 downloads
Date
2012-10
ISSN
Published
2012-10
Abstract
The developing world is experiencing substantial environmental change, and climate change is likely to accelerate these processes in the coming decades. Due to their initial poverty, and their relatively high dependence on environmental capital for their livelihoods, the poor are likely to suffer most due to their low resources for mitigation and investment in adaptation. Economic growth is essential for any large-scale poverty reduction. Green growth, a growth process that is sensitive to environmental and climate change concerns, is often seen to be particularly helpful in this respect, leading to a win-win in growth and poverty reduction terms, with additional gains for the cause of greening the planet and avoiding further disastrous environmental change. This paper argues that such a view ignores important trade-offs in the nature of "green growth" strategies, stemming from a poor understanding of the sector and spatial processes behind effective poverty reduction. High labor intensity, declining shares of agriculture in gross domestic product and employment, migration, and urbanization are essential features of poverty-reducing growth. The paper contrasts some common and stylized green-sensitive growth ideas related to agriculture, trade, technology, infrastructure, and urban development with the requirements of poverty-sensitive growth. It finds that they may well cause a slow-down in the effectiveness of growth in reducing poverty. The main lesson therefore is that trade-offs are bound to exist; they increase the social costs of green growth and should be explicitly addressed. If not, green growth may not be good for the poor and the poor should not be asked to pay the price for sustaining growth while greening the planet.
Link to Data Set
Citation
Dercon, Stefan. 2012. Is Green Growth Good for the Poor?. Policy Research Working Paper; No. 6231. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/12082 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Report Series
Report Series
Other publications in this report series
  • Publication
    Household Business Performance in Ghana
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-14) Owoo, Nkechi S.; Amankwah, Akuffo; Castaing, Pauline; Palacios-Lopez, Amparo
    The informal sector contributes significantly to the total output and employment of low-income countries. While women-owned businesses feature strongly in these informal environments, they are generally characterized by low productivity. This paper explores how household business performance may be influenced by owners’ personality traits and their attitudes toward gender roles. Using multi-topic household survey data collected in two regions of Ghana, the results show that among female business owners, being organized is an important determinant of business success, while among male business owners, power motivation and tenacity are important factors. However, increasing traditionalism tends to dampen the effects of these personality traits for both genders. Other factors that are positively correlated with women-owned business performance include business registration, separating expenses for home and business purposes, ownership of a business bank account, use of social media, as well as urban location of the business. For men-owned businesses, the results show that those that are located in traditional markets, have bank accounts, and use literate employees in their operations tend to perform better. The findings imply that policies that aim to boost women-owned business performance need to consider the main barriers, especially attitudes toward gender roles, that may determine how businesses operate in these settings. The results also suggest the importance of soft skills to boost business performance among men- and women-owned businesses.
  • Publication
    Virtual Windows Through Glass Walls? Digitalization for Low-Mobility Female Entrepreneurs
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-14) Alhorr, Layane
    Social norms and childcare responsibilities often constrain women's mobility and work. This paper investigates the promise of digitalization in unlocking the growth of home-based businesses, an economic lifeline for women in developing countries. To do so, Jordanian female entrepreneurs were offered access to virtual storefronts through Facebook business pages, as well as access to an online digital marketing training created in collaboration with local social media influencers. After six months of hands-on support, treated women had higher business survival, weekly revenue, and attracted more online clients. Machine learning heterogeneity analysis reveals that higher business performance and limitations on the owner's ability to leave her house at baseline are particularly predictive of effects. Together, results suggest that when constraints to technology adoption are lifted, digitalization can unlock windows of opportunity to talented female entrepreneurs, especially those mobility-constrained among them.
  • Publication
    The Welfare and Productivity Effects of Transit Improvements in Amman
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-13) Kleineberg, Tatjana; Murray, Sally; Tang, Yulu; Kaw, Jon Kher
    This paper studies the long-run welfare and productivity effects of transit improvements in the Greater Amman Municipality. The paper builds a rich quantitative spatial model that includes many aspects of the economic geography of Amman. It studies the effects of new bus rapid transit lines that improve the connection of more peripheral areas to the city center, in two phases: phase 1 (approximately) connecting the north-eastern and north-western regions, and phase 2 adding the southern and south-westerns regions. It finds that the bus rapid transit increases output by 4.4 to 5 percent in phase 1 and 7.2 to 7.6 percent in phase 2. Workers in manufacturing benefit the most, and they also lived farthest from the city center before the bus rapid transit was established. Welfare in all neighborhoods increases, with the largest increases at the outer ends of the new bus rapid transit lines. Phase 1 generally promotes densification and welfare in already dense locations, while phase 2 encourages additional densification to the south. Our preliminary analysis of the interaction of zoning restrictions with the bus rapid transit suggests that legal zoning limits are binding in a few locations where excess demand for real estate after the expansion of bus rapid transit is expected to be large.
  • Publication
    The Impacts of COVID-19 on Female Labor Force Participation in the Islamic Republic of Iran
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-12) Dang, Hai-Anh H.; Salehi-Isfahani, Djavad; Do, Minh N. N.
    Although female labor force participation in the Islamic Republic of Iran is among the lowest in the world, there is a lack of studies on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s female labor force participation. This paper finds that female labor force participation decreased during the pandemic years by around 1 percentage point in 2021 and 2022. When controlling for excess mortality rates, the declines increase by as much as 3.9 and 8.7 percentage points in late 2021 and early 2022, respectively. Compared to the modest, pre-pandemic female labor force participation rates, these figures translate into 5 percent and 18-40 percent decreases, respectively. There is heterogeneity, with more educated individuals being more likely to work. Compared to married individuals, divorcees were more likely to work, and those who were widowed or never married were less likely to work. The results offer relevant inputs for labor policies, particularly those aimed at reducing gender inequalities.
  • Publication
    Multidimensional Well-Being Measurement Practices
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-06-12) Decerf, Benoit
    Multidimensional well-being indicators have the potential to reduce the “bias” associated to monetary indicators. However, they face stringent data constraints. This paper studies the construction of indicators that strike a balance between (i) reliability in approximating conceptually sound well-being comparisons and (ii) simplicity of application and communication. The recommendations focus on globalmultidimensional poverty measures. The paper identifies three potential sources of improvements: “wasting” less data, better filtering the data, and further developing multidimensional analysis. Less information would be “wasted” by avoiding needlessly dichotomizing all the variables, using the available mortality data, and combining variables from separate surveys. To filter the data better, “equal weights” could be replaced by weights selected from external information on preferences. When the data permit, the unit of analysis should be switched from household level to individual level. Finally, multidimensional indicators should be used to help move beyond a suboptimal “dimension-by-dimension” approach to policy making.
Journal
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Associated URLs
Citations