Growth, governance and poverty: a cross-country analysis

Growth, governance and poverty: a cross-country analysis

Institutional variables play a role in shaping the poverty performance

This paper seeks to discern and evaluate the process by which economic growth leads to poverty alleviation and attempt to identify the role of governance institutions in that process. The article asks 'do institutions matter in determining the poverty performance of economic growth?'.

The paper has two primary goals. The first is to review the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) growth experience and attempt to discern the interface between economic growth and poverty. The second goal, is to focus on the observed record in both income and non-income dimensions of poverty, and to reflect on the differences among countries in terms of the underlying institutional capital.

The article concludes tentatively that:

  • Jordan is a front runner in income terms
  • Jordan's position is weakened by a relatively poor performance in female primary school enrolment
  • Egypt scores near the bottom of the list on many of the key categories
  • Jordan comes ahead of Egypt
  • not much differentiation exists between Morocco and Tunisia
  • institutional variables play a role in shaping the poverty performance under economic growth

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