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Was Economic Growth in Australia Good for the Income-Poor? and for the Multidimensionally-Poor?

Working Paper 2012-278

Abstract

We investigate the pro-poorness of Australia’s strong economic growth in the fi…rst decade of the XXI century using anonymous and non-anonymous approaches to the measurement of pro-poor growth. The sensitivity of pro-poor growth evaluations to the de…nition of poverty is evaluated by comparing the results for the standard income-poverty measure with those based on a multidimensional de…nition of poverty. We …nd that Australian growth in this period can be only categorized as pro-poor according to the weakest concept of pro-poorness that does not require any bias of growth towards the poor. In addition, our results indicate that growth was clearly more pro-income poor than pro-multidimensionally poor. Counterfactual
distribution analysis reveals that di¤erences in the distribution of health between these two groups is the non-income factor that most contributes to explain this result.

Authors: Francisco Azpitarte.

Keywords: Growth, pro-poor, anonymity axiom.
JEL: D3, I32