Accepted paper:

Development and inequality in the African lions

Author:

David Potts (University of Bradford)

Paper short abstract:

This paper investigates data for seven Sub-Saharan African economies to consider the dynamics of growth and inequality over the period 1995 to 2015. It explores the factors leading to differences in the experiences and related policy implications.

Paper long abstract:

This paper investigates data for seven Sub-Saharan African economies to consider the dynamics of growth and inequality over the period 1995 to 2015. The countries considered have all achieved overall growth rates of 6% per annum or more and growth in per capita income of 3% or more. Data from World Development Indicators are used to investigate changes in the incomes of different groups and the extent to which economic growth has improved the incomes of the poor and impacted on the levels of inequality. Some specific factors are considered as possible explanations for variations in the extent to which growth has benefited the poor, in particular the possibility that agriculture led growth may be pro-poor and mineral led growth may be pro-rich. Considerable variation is found in the experiences of different countries in relation to the extent to which growth has improved the position of the poor and there are considerable differences in overall indicators of inequality. In all cases except one the incomes of the poorest have improved over the periods for which data on distribution are available. However in all cases but one the Kuznets Ratio indicator suggests that inequality has increased.

panel P13
The political economy of inclusion: poverty and the precarious 'new middle' in developing countries