This study extended the concept of ‘pro-poor growth’ in terms of social expenditures that measure whether social expenditures are pro-poor or not pro-poor. Using the idea of pro-poor growth, this study examines as to what extent the poor benefited from the growth of social expenditures i.e., human development, rural development, safety nets and community services. The monotonicity axiom sets out a condition that the proportional reduction in poverty is a monotonically increasing function of the pro-poor growth. This study satisfies the monotonicity criterion relative with social expenditures and proposes a ‘poverty equivalent social expenditure rate’, which takes into account both the magnitude of social expenditures growth and how the benefits of these expenditures are distributed to the poors and the non-poors. This methodology is applied to Pakistan’s unit record household surveys during the periods of 1964–2011 (21 household surveys) and examines the interrelationship between social expenditures, inequality, and poverty. It is argued that the satisfaction of a monotonicity axiom is a key criterion for measuring pro-poor growth. The results found that the social expenditures in Pakistan are not intrinsically pro poor. Although it was strongly pro poor in the 1980s and pro poor in the 1990s, growth in the 1970s and 2000s was anti poor, if the poverty related social expenditures still remains anti-poor in the subsequent years as reflected in the years 2008–2011, there is a likelihood that these expenditures may not trickle down to the poor but instead to the non-poor. It is indicative that to achieve rapid poverty reduction, the poverty equivalent growth rate ought to be maximized rather than the actual growth rate of social expenditures in Pakistan.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 6, 2013
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