What policy lessons can be learnt from cases of pro-poorest growth?

Working and discussion papers
July 2016
Andrew Shepherd, Chiara Mariotti and Laura Rodriguez-Takeuchi

Pro-poorest growth, defined as a relatively greater proportion of income gain from growth by the poorest compared to the average, may be necessary to achieve the first Sustainable Development Goal target of eradicating extreme poverty. This recommendation was a key finding of the 2014–2015 Chronic Poverty Report: the Road to Zero Extreme Poverty (Shepherd et al., 2014) and more generally the outcome of the Chronic Poverty Advisory Network’s work on policies for poverty eradication published in numerous policy guides. This finding motivated a comparative research programme investigating the policies which can drive and support pro-poorest growth.

It explores a small number of these episodes and compares them to other episodes which have not been pro-poorest, or have been but only in absolute terms. While a larger sample of such episodes would be necessary to come to any robust conclusions, a comparative analysis of growth episodes and policies in six rapidly growing countries since 2000 allows some tentative conclusions to be drawn about the policies which can promote pro-poorest growth.

The paper concludes with five key areas of policy, different combinations of which may promote pro-poorest growth in different country situations. Throughout there is reference to the evolving political settlements which permit such policies.