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Working Paper 111 - Assessing Absolute and Relative Pro-Poor Growth: An Application to the MENA Region


The assessment of whether distributional changes are “pro-poor” has become increasingly important in the last decade (See inter alia, Bourguignon 2003; Dollar and Kraay 2002; Eastwood and Lipton 2001; Ravallion 2001; United Nations 2000; and the World Bank 2002).

Doing this calls for the fixing of the concept of pro-poorness, which is usually related to the idea that the poor get “more” from growth than some predefined benchmark. An important issue is whether this benchmark should be absolute or relative. Another issue is whether pro-poor judgements should use distributional weights that vary across the poor, and where to draw the poverty line (in absolute or in relative terms).

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