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Occasional Paper

Publication Date



Much of the discussion of economic development in low and middle income countries and of poverty reduction has either ignored the issue of income distribution or has tended to view income distribution only in terms of its impact on economic growth. In this paper I argue that such an approach is misguided. I will explain, first, why I believe that it is desirable to give a great deal of attention to income distribution in the analysis of economic development and poverty reduction. My argument includes conceptual, political and practical elements. Second, I will suggest some of the ways in which economic programs might be structured when income distribution is a central consideration. My purpose in this latter section of the paper will simply be to illustrate what could be done, not to lay out any sort of general program for economic development and poverty reduction.


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