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Escaping chronic poverty through economic growth

Ursula Grant



  • Chronically poor people engage weakly, if at all, in economic growth, due to the multiple deprivations and adverse socioeconomic relationships they experience.
  • Growth is necessary, but not sufficient, to tackle chronic poverty. The form that growth takes is critical. It is not enough to have growth solely in the sectors where poor people are most represented (e.g. agriculture). Substantial poverty reduction requires transformative growth and large-scale structural change.
  • Even in highly unequal economies, growth can contribute to poverty reduction: but only if fiscal institutions are built to generate revenue, and focus on the poor and their needs.
  • In framing economic policy, high priority must be given to the needs of poor people, and any policy must pass the test of poverty reduction. The linkages must be firm and the timescale reasonable.
  • Economic growth can stimulate social change and new political spaces for articulating the voice of chronically poor people. This in turn can help to lay the ground for ending adverse incorporation.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Policy Brief


growth politics adverse incorporation decent work labour


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