Arnold Kling  

African Poverty Declines

Boo Jonathan Rauch... GDP Fetishism...

Xavier Sala-i-Martin and Maxim Pinkovskiy write,

The poverty rate in 1970 was 0.398. That is, close to 40% of the entire population lived with less than one dollar a day in Africa in 1970. After a small decline during the first half of the seventies, the rate jumped to around 0.42 in 1985 and stayed more or less at that level for a decade. In 1995 there is a dramatic change in trend: the poverty rate began a decline that led to a ten percentage point reduction by 2006...

These results contradict the 2008 Millennium Development Goals Report (UN, 2008), which asserts that "little progress was made in reducing extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa." Our estimates disagree: the African poverty rate in 2006 was 0.318, 30% lower than in 1995 (0.428) and 28% lower than in 1990 (0.421).

Can anyone find an ungated copy of the paper to which I could link? [UPDATE: Tyler found one here.]

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CATEGORIES: Growth: Consequences

COMMENTS (2 to date)
David writes:

That is great news for Africa, but how does it jive with claims that foreign aid actually hurts the receiving countries? See, for example, the points made by this film:

Have African institutions been improving significantly over the past decade or two?

blackantelope writes:

when compiling poverty statistics is consideration given to valuing family food production or is this dollar a day simply hard cash. after all, if you include how much rural families save by growing their own supplies surely they must a least earn (for a family of lets say 5) 4-8,000 dollars a year.
i know i spend around 3,000 pounds for myself.

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