Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 201
Pro-poor growth has been identified as one of the most promising pathways to accelerate poverty reduction in developing countries. The diagnostic pro-poor growth toolbox has so far focused on the income dimension as well as key non-income achievements in education and health. This article contributes to the literature by expanding the toolbox with several new measures that take into account the extraordinary importance of agricultural productivity for poverty reduction in developing countries. We distinguish between land productivity and labor productivity and find that the poor identified by low incomes, poor education outcomes, poor health outcomes, low land productivity and low labor productivity overlap only to a small degree, suggesting that analyses of pro-poor growth from these different perspectives are complementary. The toolbox is then applied to three comparable household surveys from Rwanda (EICV data for the years 1999-2001, 2005- 2006, and 2010-2011), a country that has experienced impressive economic growth since the genocide in the mid-1990s and that has undertaken considerable efforts to increase agricultural productivity and improve the population's access to social services over the first decade of the 2000s. Our application shows that the enormous progress made in the income, education and health dimension of well-being has been pro-poor according to most definitions of the concept. The new tools reveal that the land productivity-poor experienced pro-poor growth in the relative (and absolute) sense while the labor productivity-poor increased their labor productivity relatively (but not absolutely) faster than the labor productivity-rich even though the former dispose of considerably lower education levels.
Agricultural Productivity Inequality Multidimensional Poverty Pro-Poor Growth Rwanda Sub-Saharan Africa