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Ending Global Poverty: Why Money Isn't Enough

Lucy Page and Rohini Pande

Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2018, vol. 32, issue 4, 173-200

Abstract: Between 1981 and 2013, the share of the global population living in extreme poverty fell by 34 percentage points. This paper argues that such rapid reductions will become increasingly hard to achieve for two reasons. First, the majority of the poor now live in middle-income countries where the benefits of growth have often been distributed selectively and unequally. Second, a reservoir of extreme poverty remains in low-income countries where growth is erratic and aid often fails to reach the poor. If the international community is to most effectively leverage available resources to end extreme poverty, it must ensure that its investments in institutions and physical infrastructure actually provide the poor the capabilities they need to craft an effective pathway out of poverty. We term the human and social systems that are required to form this pathway "invisible infrastructure" and argue that an effective domestic state is central to building this. By corollary, ending extreme poverty will require both expanding state capacity and giving the poor power to demand reforms they need by solving agency problems between citizens, politicians, and bureaucrats.

JEL-codes: F35 H23 I32 I38 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.32.4.173
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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:32:y:2018:i:4:p:173-200