Working Paper, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth 104
[Introduction] Inclusive growth has become a central concern in the development literature and in policymaking in many countries. However, the literature presents several different definitions of inclusive growth, which do not converge to a consensus on the concept, let alone one on how to operationalise it sensibly. The concept of inclusive growth came to light in the context of an unfolding shift in development thinking away from seeing equity either as a toll on growth or as a byproduct of growth only setting in after a certain period during which it is eschewed in favour of growth, towards an understanding, albeit not unanimous, that not only is growth with equity possible, but also growth and poverty and inequality reduction can be instrumental to each other. This shift was the result of the progression of development thinking largely grounded on the developmental experiences of those countries that entered the second half of the 20th century outside the select group of developed countries. The process involved a collection of distinct yet somewhat concatenated developments in the understanding of the interaction of growth, poverty and inequality. The next section briefly addresses the changes in development thinking within which the emergence of the concept of inclusive growth is situated. The following section brings an overview of the debate on the concept of pro-poor growth. The section after that presents the debate on the concept of inclusive growth. Following that there is a section addressing attempts to measuring inclusive growth. Finally, the last section highlights the state of the debate on the concept of inclusive growth and indicates key issues that need to be addressed to take it further.