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11 October 2018
On 1st and 2nd November we’re hosting a two-day workshop on rethinking social justice and the public realm. What can relational approaches offer?
A highlight of the two days will be a lecture by Professor Victoria Lawson, Professor of Geography at The University of Washington, Seattle, and co-founder of the Relational Poverty Network, on ‘Re-imagining poverty action by re-politicising poverty’. The lecture is on Thursday 1st November, 4.30 – 6.00 pm, G7 in HBS. We hope to see you there.
10th October 2018
Can poverty be eradicated is the biggest question for development. Progress in poverty reduction was a central success with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): estimates suggest that as many as one billion people were lifted out of poverty. Since poverty reduction remains important for the more ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it seems that the time is right to identify why poverty has been reduced so much and why some countries have seen a greater reduction than others.
Our research presents new evidence on what facilitates poverty reduction. We find that in more effective states, or in countries with greater state capacity, income poverty has been reduced at a significantly faster speed, and those countries are much more likely to achieve MDG 1 of halving poverty. Our estimates suggest that countries with the highest state capacity can reduce income poverty at up to twice the speed of countries with the weakest capacity.
Our methodology is straightforward. We examine poverty in 89 developing countries between 1990 and 2013. Then, we show whether, and how fast, economies with higher income poverty levels experienced larger reductions in their poverty rates to close the gap with economies with lower income poverty levels – known as poverty convergence. We do this by using such standard international measures as poverty headcount and poverty gap at USD 1.25 and USD 2 per day. Our findings show that these poverty measures tended to decrease faster in countries with initially higher poverty levels. Continue Reading →
An article in World Development based on an ESID working paper on poverty reduction and the MDGs has been selected for an article collection of five papers that have a fundamental connection to the goals of sustainability and development.
This outstanding research by M. Niaz Asadullah and Antonio Savoia is noteable for presenting new evidence on what produces poverty reduction. Asadullah and Savoia firstly demonstrate that the MDGs were instrumental to poverty reduction. But this still leaves unexplained why countries with similar initial conditions in terms of income poverty, had very different reductions in poverty measures. So they explain this with their finding that it is countries with more effective states, or greater state capacity, that have reduced income poverty at a significantly faster speed and so have been much more likely to achieve the MDG goal 1 of halving poverty. Their central estimates suggest that countries with the highest state capacity can reduce income poverty up to twice the speed than countries with the weakest capacity.
The editor in chief of World Development, Arun Agrawal had this to say about the sustainability and development collection:
Sustainability and development have been a central concern of World Development since its very inception: the journal was publishing papers on the topic well before the appearance of the term “sustainable development” in the lexicon of development professionals or the appearance of the Brundtland Report. It is therefore especially gratifying to recall such seminal contributions as those by Tisdell (1988), Lele (1991) and Anand and Sen (2000) that have helped clarify and establish the idea of sustainable development as a central focus of governmental and societal efforts for a more secure and prosperous future for vulnerable ecosystems and populations. To review the range and depth of articles on sustainability and development in World Development over the past thirty years is to acknowledge the effectiveness with which its reviewers, authors, and editors presaged the concerns embodied in the Millennium, and now the Sustainable Development Goals. As we prepare for the inaugural World Development supported conference on Sustainability and Development at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability, five recent papers in the journal are worth highlighting for their fundamental connections to the goals of sustainability and development: Asadullah and Savoia 2018, Cairns 2018, Haider et al. 2018, Matin et al. 2018, and Mosse 2018. The diversity of topical concerns and methodological plurality in these recent publications demonstrate the degree to which the journal has been true to its original mission of representing heterodoxy and excellence in efforts to understand and support the processes that help the poorest and the most vulnerable. That we are committed to doing so, even in a time when the profession of Development Economics becomes methodologically and topically ever narrower in its understanding of research excellence, will be in striking evidence at our inaugural meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan during November 9-11. Come join us!
The collection and free download of the paper is available here.