Paul Lachine

Weniger Armut durch Einkommensumverteilung?

NEW YORK: Viele Linke misstrauen der Vorstellung, dass wirtschaftliches Wachstum in den Entwicklungsländern zur Reduzierung der Armut beiträgt. Eine wachstumsorientierte Politik ziele auf die Steigerung des Bruttosozialprodukts ab und nicht auf eine Linderung der Armut; der Schlüssel zur Armutsreduzierung sei Umverteilung. Diese Behauptungen freilich sind nicht durch entsprechende Belege gestützt.

Nun wissen Entwicklungsökonomen seit den 1950er Jahren, dass eine Zunahme des Bruttosozialprodukts nicht mit zunehmendem Wohlstand gleichzusetzen ist. Doch selbst vor der indischen Unabhängigkeit betrachtete die indische Führung Wachstum als Grundvoraussetzung für die Reduzierung der Armut und die Verbesserung sozialer Standards. In ökonomischer Hinsicht war Wachstum ein Instrument – und kein Ziel –, mittels dessen die wahren Ziele wie die Reduzierung der Armut und der soziale Aufstieg der Massen erreicht werden sollten.

Vor einem Vierteljahrhundert habe ich auf die beiden unterschiedlichen Weisen hingewiesen, auf die sich Wachstum so auswirkt. Erstens verschafft es den Armen eine Erwerbsbeschäftigung und trägt so dazu bei, sie aus der Armut zu befreien. Höhere Einkommen versetzen sie in die Lage, ihre privaten Ausgaben für Bildung und Gesundheit zu erhöhen (so, wie es in Indien während der jüngsten Phase beschleunigten Wachstums der Fall gewesen zu sein scheint).

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