Revisiting Cross-Country Poverty Convergence in the Developing World with a Special Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa

37 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2018

See all articles by Yusi Ouyang

Yusi Ouyang

University of Tulsa

Abebe Shimeles

Göteborg University

Erik Thorbecke

Cornell University

Abstract

The literature on poverty convergence is sparse and much of the empirical evidence relies on Ravallion (2012) who found a lack of poverty convergence across some ninety Less Developed Countries (LDCs) during 1977-2007. This paper revisits cross-country poverty convergence using data from the same sources but an extended period, i.e. 1977-2014. We find that while poverty convergence remains absent across LDCs during 1981-2014, it is explained by initial poverty nullifying the effectiveness of growth in reducing poverty; whereas an adverse direct effect of initial poverty on growth – which is recognized as the main impediment to cross-country poverty convergence during 1977-2007 – is not found. In SSA, in contrast, we find strong cross-country poverty convergence during both periods examined, as an adverse direct poverty effect is not found, and the indirect poverty effect is not large enough to cancel the mean convergence effect.

Keywords: cross-country poverty convergence, growth, poverty, Sub-Saharan Africa

JEL Classification: O10, O55

Suggested Citation

Ouyang, Yusi and Shimeles, Abebe and Thorbecke, Erik, Revisiting Cross-Country Poverty Convergence in the Developing World with a Special Focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11388. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3153352

Yusi Ouyang (Contact Author)

University of Tulsa ( email )

600 South College
Tulsa, OK 74104
United States

Abebe Shimeles

Göteborg University ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Erik Thorbecke

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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