The Political Economy of Good Governance for Poverty Alleviation Policies

Date: May 2003
Type: Papers and Briefs
Series: Economics Working Papers
ISSN: 1655-5252 (print)
Author: Lakshman, Narayan


The motivation of this research paper is to shed light upon the political economy factors that determine the quality of governance for poverty alleviation policies. This issue is a crucial one because although remarkable strides have been made in some parts of the world, more than 2.8 billion people live on less than $2 a day. The situation begs the important question: Why have poverty alleviation efforts by developing countries not achieved the momentum necessary to improve the living standards of poor? An important reason why growth with significant redistribution has not occurred in many developing countries is that poverty reduction strategies have often been politically naive. The literature spawned by major development institutions until the 1980s did not go beyond policy prescriptions to ask under what political conditions redistributive policies could be successfully adopted. This is a relevant issue because policies reflect concrete political and social interests and it is not hard to imagine a situation where poverty-alleviating reform is hindered by vested interests.

The aim of this research paper is to shed light upon the factors determining quality of governance, because poor governance is but a manifestation of these deep-rooted institutional and political biases against the collective interests of the poor.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • The Political Economy of Good Governance
  • Towards Good Governance: Policy Implications
  • Conclusions
  • References