Poverty and Inequality in Francophone Africa, 1960s-2010s
Author(s): Sédi-Anne Boukaka, Giulia Mancini, Giovanni Vecchi
JEL Classification: C13, I32, N37, O12
The paper provides first generation estimates of poverty and inequality rates for three countries in francophone Africa – Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon – in the aftermath of independence. Sources – a large collection of historical household budgets – are new, as is the method that allows to connect historical sources to modern household budget surveys, and to deliver nationally representative estimates. The second part of the paper identifies the trend of poverty and inequality in Côte d’Ivoire for the years 1965-2015; we find that mean income growth failed to reduce poverty during the fifteen years of economic boom post-independence (1965-1979) because of increasing inequality. Conversely, in the following period (1979-2015) poverty changes are mostly guided by the evolution of growth.
Keywords: Cameroon, Cote-d'Ivoire, Gabon, grouped data, household budgets, inequality, living standards, poverty, wellbeing