Journal Article

A Comparative Perspective on Poverty Reduction in Brazil, China, and India

Martin Ravallion

in The World Bank Research Observer

Published on behalf of World Bank

Volume 26, issue 1, pages 71-104
Published in print February 2011 | ISSN: 0257-3032
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1564-6971 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/wbro/lkp031
A Comparative Perspective on Poverty Reduction in Brazil, China, and India

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Brazil, China, and India have seen falling poverty in their reform periods, but to varying degrees and for different reasons. History left China with favorable initial conditions for rapid poverty reduction through market-led economic growth; at the outset of the reform process there were many distortions to be removed and a relatively low inequality of access to the opportunities so created, though inequality has risen markedly since. By concentrating such opportunities in the hands of the better off, prior inequalities in various dimensions handicapped poverty reduction in both Brazil and India. Brazil's recent success in complementing market-oriented reforms with progressive social policies has helped it achieve a higher proportionate rate of poverty reduction than India, although Brazil has been less successful in terms of economic growth. In the wake of its steep rise in inequality, China might learn from Brazil's success with such policies. India needs to do more to assure that poor people are able to participate in both the country's growth process and its social policies; here there are lessons from both China and Brazil. All three countries have learned how important macroeconomic stability is to poverty reduction.

Keywords: I32; O57

Journal Article.  14476 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Welfare and Poverty ; Economywide Country Studies

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