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Is Poverty in Africa Mostly Chronic or Transient? Evidence from Synthetic Panel Data

Hai-Anh Dang () and Andrew L. Dabalen

Journal of Development Studies, 2019, vol. 55, issue 7, 1527-1547

Abstract: Absent actual panel household survey data, we construct for the first time synthetic panel data for more than 20 countries accounting for two-thirds of the population in sub-Saharan Africa. We employ in this process repeated cross sections that span, on average, a six-year period for each country. Our analysis suggests that all these countries as a whole have had pro-poor growth. In particular, one third of the poor population escaped poverty during the studied period, which is larger than the proportion of the population that fell into poverty in the same period. The region also saw a 28 per cent increase in the size of the middle class. Chronic poverty, however, remains high and a considerable proportion of the population is vulnerable to falling into poverty.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2017.1417585

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