By Anthony F. Shorrocks, Rolph van der Hoeven
The connection among progress, inequality, and poverty lies on the center of improvement economics. This quantity attracts jointly a few of the most vital contemporary contributions to the controversies surrounding this subject.
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Additional info for Growth, Inequality, and Poverty: Prospects for Pro-Poor Economic Development (UNU-WIDER Studies in Development Economics)
A particularly valuable exercise was the systematic attempt to elicit directly the ‘voices of the poor’ through participatory assessments. This chapter presents an analysis of the broad themes of disagreement in these consultations and more generally among those concerned with poverty reduction. It has to be noted, ﬁrst of all, that there are swathes of agreement in areas where there would not have been consensus two decades ago. Any discussion of disagreements has to start with an acknowledgement of these areas of agreement.
But before doing this, we need to say a little more about disagreements over what and disagreements between whom. 2. DISAGREEMENTS OVER WHAT AND BETWEEN WHOM? Disagreements over what? The next section will review some broad areas of consensus on poverty reduction strategies. But the focus of this chapter is on disagreements, and these have begun to coalesce around a seemingly irreduceable core of economic policy instruments. There are major disagreements on the pace and sequencing of ﬁscal adjustment, monetary and interest rate policy, exchange rate regimes, trade and openness, internal and external ﬁnancial liberalization including deregulation of capital ﬂows, the scale and methods of large-scale privatization of state-owned enterprises, etc.
A third area where there is a surprising amount of agreement, or more accurately not as much disagreement as there was 20 or even 10 years ago, is on the old ‘markets versus state’ debate. There has deﬁnitely been some coming together on this. Particularly interesting were the positions of NGOs with actual ground-level operations working directly with poor. In the consultations, these organizations tended to be very pragmatic. The question for them was always what worked to improve the standard of living of the people they were helping, not about ideologies favouring state over market or the other way round.