Poverty Reduction without Economic Growth? Explaining Brazil's Poverty Dynamics, 1985-2004

47 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Francisco H. G. Ferreira

Francisco H. G. Ferreira

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Phillippe G. Leite

World Bank - Research Department

Martin Ravallion

Georgetown University

Date Written: December 1, 2007

Abstract

Brazil's slow pace of poverty reduction over the last two decades reflects both low growth and a low growth elasticity of poverty reduction. Using GDP data disaggregated by state and sector for a twenty-year period, this paper finds considerable variation in the poverty-reducing effectiveness of growth - across sectors, across space, and over time. Growth in the services sector was substantially more poverty-reducing than was growth in either agriculture or industry. Growth in industry had very different effects on poverty across different states and its impact varied with initial conditions related to human development and worker empowerment. The determinants of poverty reduction changed around 1994: positive growth rates and a greater (absolute) elasticity with respect to agricultural growth contributed to faster poverty reduction. But because there was so little of it, economic growth played a relatively small role in accounting for Brazil's poverty reduction between 1985 and 2004. The taming of hyperinflation (in 1994) and substantial expansions in social security and social assistance transfers, beginning in 1988, accounted for a larger share of the overall reduction in poverty.

Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction, Achieving Shared Growth, Population Policies, Inequality

Suggested Citation

Ferreira, Francisco H. G. and Leite, Phillippe G. and Ravallion, Martin, Poverty Reduction without Economic Growth? Explaining Brazil's Poverty Dynamics, 1985-2004 (December 1, 2007). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4431, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1066223

Francisco H. G. Ferreira

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-4382 (Phone)

Phillippe G. Leite

World Bank - Research Department ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Martin Ravallion (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
284
Abstract Views
1,954
rank
140,226
PlumX Metrics