Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations

Lecture Details

The Poverty-Growth-Inequality Triangle

Dr. François Bourguignon, World Bank, Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President, World Bank 
February 4, 2004

From L to R: Dr. Arvind Virmani, Director & Chief Executive, ICRIER, Prof. Deepak Nayyar, Vice Chancellor, Delhi University, Dr. François Bourguignon, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, the World Bank, giving lecture on ‘The Poverty-Growth-Inequality Triangle’, jointly organised with the World Bank 

The World Bank’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Dr. François Bourguignon, delivered a lecture on ‘Poverty-Growth-Inequality Triangle’ organised jointly by ICRIER and the World Bank at India Habitat Centre on February 4, 2004. The focus of Dr. Bourguignon’s talk was on the age-old controversy whether the development strategy should lay emphasis on growth or poverty reduction or on addressing inequality. In his lecture he brought out the power of distributional changes for poverty reduction. He emphasised that for poverty reduction, it is not just growth in income that matters but also how the growth leads to changes in income distribution. In some cases the changes in distribution may even offset the positive effects of growth on poverty, he stated. Dr. Bourguignon’s point was that the real controversy is whether growth and distribution are independent of each other, or are they both inter-linked. Two important points to be considered according to him were, first, that growth and income distribution should be considered simultaneously and to recognise that income distribution matters as much as growth for poverty reduction. The second, that country specificity matters a great deal. 

The lecture was attended by a number of eminent persons from academia, policy makers, media and various research institutes. Dr. Deepak Nayyar, Vice Chancellor, Delhi University chaired the lecture. Introductory Remarks were made by Dr. Arvind Virmani, Director & Chief Executive, ICRIER.


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