The purpose of this working paper is to explore a menu of policy recommendations that developing country governments can use to think through their policy-making decisions and ensure the poorest people participate in economic growth on good terms, such that they can sustainably escape poverty.
- Pro-poorest growth can be driven by investment in labour-intensive industry, supported by institutional measures to ensure fair competition in the market and a voice for business with government. However, institutional measures are not always sufficient to generate such investments.
- The gains from pro-poorest growth can be eroded if there is inadequate protection from major shocks—in particular impoverishing ill-health and food price inflation. There is a need for adequate health coverage and attention to casual wages as well as food prices.
- Regional integration and cross-border trade can be powerful supports to pro-poorest growth. Here, South-East Asian countries have had a significant advantage over East African countries.
- Cross-border migration of unskilled labour may assist pro-poor growth; it is internal migration that is most likely to contribute to pro-poorest growth. In both cases, supportive policies can reduce the costs and increase the returns to migration.