Date of Submission


Date of Award


Institute Name (Publisher)

Indian Statistical Institute

Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Subject Name

Quantitative Economics


Economic Research Unit (ERU-Kolkata)


Majumder, K. C. (ERU-Kolkata; ISI)

Abstract (Summary of the Work)

The extent of poverty in any country depends upon two factors vlz, the average level of income anxd the degree of inequality in its distribution. The central theme in the continuing debate on the relationship between growth and poverty is whether past growth process in the developing countries has caused any signi.licant benefit to the poor. Kuznets (1955) was first to observe from cross country data that procosa of development is likely to be accompanied by increase in inequality, whhich would reverse itself only at a relatively advanced stage. This hypothesis has been subsequently confirned to some extent by several authors. Em pi.ricnl evidence on the incidence of poverty and extent of income inequality in developing countries have also raised question on the desirability ofr growth oriented development strategy which implioitly assuned that growth, through its so-calledtrickle downeffect, will take care of these problems.Several micro and macro-economio explanation of this phenomenon has been put forward in the li terature. While Kuzne ts effectstresses the role of structure of employinent a8sociated with pattern of modern growth, Lewis (1954), Fei and Ranis (1964) argue, in a dual economy model, that growth of modern seotor takes incroasingly capital intensive form with income per person raising rapidly but with limi ted increase in employment f'or unskilled l.abour. On the other hand, some authors like Taylor and Bacha (1976), Taylor and Lysy (1979), Ahluwalia et (1979) feel that publio polioy is as muoh as important as the growth in ohanging economic condi tion of the poor. Consequently debate has also centred around design of policies to alleviate poverty and reduce income inequality. One group of policy makers oonsider that the major objective should be acceleration of growth with speoial concessions to the poorest among them and others feel that distributional objective should be treated as an integral part of overall development s trategy.However, discussion of these issues requires a framework which providès an integrated treatment of growth, income distribution and poverty so that one is able to evaluate and rank the different growth and redistributive policies. This follows from the oomplex nature of interac tions involved in evaluating the impact of different policy instruments. Policies designed to benefit the target group may have adverse effect on other groups and may even hurt the terget group itself because of inoome linkage between the groups. Moreover, as the effect of different policies take time to work themselves out, we need a franIework in which the effects of alternative policies can be compa- red over time.The present study suggests a quantitative framework for aalysing the relationship between income distribution, poverty and growths and use it for highlighting the major charac teristics of different redistaributive policies in terms of their impact on growth of inooine of different socio-eoonomio groups. As there is not yet an adequate statistical basis for formal analysis of the key relationship between growth, poverty and income distribution, our main concern, while modelling such relationehip, has been to make the best possible use of available data.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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