This paper asks whether the UN Sustainable Development Goal to end poverty is achievable in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. We discuss various estimates of the poverty impact of the pandemic. We then differentiate growth-poverty-inequality pathways based on empirical observations from developing countries over the last 25 years. We take the most equitable growth pathways (characterised by mean household income/consumption expenditure growth per capita with the largest falls in inequality) and least equitable growth pathways (mean household income/consumption expenditure growth per capita with the largest rises in inequality) as a basis to extrapolate potential scenarios for poverty levels in 2030. Our main finding is that the SDG to end poverty is achievable (or something close) if the impact of the pandemic on income poverty is addressed and countries are able to follow the most equitable growth pathway after the pandemic has abated. In short, the greatest poverty reduction, and greatest likelihood of attaining the SDG poverty reduction goals, will occur if economic growth is combined with inequality reduction. In other words redistribution with growth.
|Publication status||Published - 2021|