Inequality, Gender Gaps and Economic Growth: Comparative Evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa
30 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2016
Date Written: June 2016
A growing body of empirical evidence suggests that inequality-income or gender related-canimpede economic growth. Using dynamic panel regressions and new time series data, this paperfinds that both income and gender inequalities, including from legal gender-based restrictions, arejointly negatively associated with per capita GDP growth. Examining the relationship for countriesat different stages of development, we find that this effect prevails mainly in lower incomecountries. In particular, per capita income growth in sub-Saharan Africa could be higher by as muchas 0.9 percentage points on average if inequality was reduced to the levels observed in the fastgrowingemerging Asian countries. High levels of income inequality in sub-Saharan Africa appearpartly driven by structural features. However, the paper's findings show that policies that influencethe opportunities of low-income households and women to participate in economic activities alsomatter and, therefore, if well-designed and targeted, could play a role in alleviating inequalities.
Keywords: Poverty and inequality, Sub-Saharan Africa, Women's economic conditions, Income inequality, Gender, Low-income developing countries, Economic growth, Panel analysis, Regression analysis, Time series, Income inequality, gender inequality, economic growth, and sub-Saharan Africa
JEL Classification: O10, O40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation