Inequality, Gender Gaps and Economic Growth: Comparative Evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa

30 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2016

See all articles by Dalia Hakura

Dalia Hakura

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Mumtaz Hussain

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Policy Development and Review Department

Monique Newiak

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU)

Vimal Thakoor

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Fan Yang

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Date Written: June 2016

Abstract

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

Hakura, Dalia and Hussain, Mumtaz and Newiak, Monique and Thakoor, Vimal and Yang, Fan, Inequality, Gender Gaps and Economic Growth: Comparative Evidence for Sub-Saharan Africa (June 2016). IMF Working Paper No. 16/111, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2882524

Dalia Hakura (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Mumtaz Hussain

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - Policy Development and Review Department ( email )

700 19th St. NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States
(202) 623-4027 (Phone)

Monique Newiak

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

Vimal Thakoor

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Fan Yang

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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