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Structural Adjustments and Standards of Living in Developing Countries

By Farhad Noorbakhsh


This paper employs a number of models to examine whether the structural adjustment programmes of the World Bank have had any effect on the standards of living and human development indices in the treated countries. It appears that while during the adjustment period the average real per capita income has grown faster in the treated countries this has not been the pattern for the indicators of standards of living. Although there exists a relationship between the human development indices and income for countries considered, the income elasticity of the non-income components of the human development indices examined here are very low for the countries which have benefited for a longer period from the structural adjustment loans and similarly for the non-treated countries. It seems that the physical standards of living examined here, though depending on per capita income, were relatively more influenced by other factors. In conclusion the validity of a high concentration of adjustment programmes on income growth as the main target is questioned

Year: 1997
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