Three years ago the President of the World Bank committed his institution to overcoming what he described as “the tragedy of exclusion.” He has attempted to shift the focus away from ‘trickle down’ economics and towards growth with equity, or pro-poor growth. Today, his vision is under increasing attack not least from within the World Bank. The basis of this attack is set out in a document written by David Dollar and Aart Kraay of the Policy Research Department of the World Bank entitled Growth is good for the poor. The report argues that economic growth is closely associated with poverty reduction, and that globalisation and openness bring the same benefits to the poor as to the non-poor. Notwithstanding a small caveat indicating that growth alone may not be enough, the clear message of the report is that standard economic policies on liberalisation will generate the growth and distribution patterns needed for success in poverty reduction.
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