Is Growth in Asia and the Pacific Inclusive?

49 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2013

Date Written: December 1, 2012


Inclusive economic growth challenges governments to achieve a high, sustainable rate of economic growth and to share opportunity equitably across society. It brings with it an operational challenge of finding an approach to performance measurement that captures the richness of the concept. This study applies one approach to assess the growth experience of 22 developing economies in Asia and the Pacific region. Special attention is paid to 11 economies — Armenia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam. It is found that growth in these 11 economies, which collectively account for about half of the region’s population, has become more inclusive. Access to opportunity is generally on the rise and inequality in opportunity is generally in decline. There is nonetheless considerable room for further gains, particularly in the South and Southeast Asian economies studied, where inequality in opportunity is high. Inequality in opportunity is generally lower in the Central Asian and Pacific economies studied. In the Pacific Island economies studied, the key challenge is to achieve a high, sustainable rate of economic growth.

Keywords: inclusive growth, opportunity, inequity, concentration index, Asia and the Pacific Research topic: Poverty, MDGs and Inclusive growth

JEL Classification: D63, I32, O12, O40, O53

Suggested Citation

Sugden, Craig, Is Growth in Asia and the Pacific Inclusive? (December 1, 2012). Asian Development Bank Economics Working Paper Series No. 317. Available at SSRN: or

Craig Sugden (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank ( email )

6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City 1550
Metro Manila

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