Is there new capacity for redistribution to end poverty in mics?

Christopher Hoy, Andy Sumner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Amartya Sen’s famous study of famines found that people died not because of a lack of food availability in a country but because some people lacked entitlements to that food. Is a similar situation now the case for middle-income countries, meaning that national resources are available but are not used to end poverty? This chapter argues that (i) MICs account for a large proportion of global poverty; (ii) most MICs have the financial capacity to end poverty at least at lower poverty lines. Our findings provide a rationale for a stronger consideration of some national redistribution for purely instrumental reasons: to reduce or end global poverty sooner than waiting for growth. Our findings also support the extension of Sen’s theory of famines to global poverty meaning global poverty is increasingly a matter of national inequality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrapped in the Middle?
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopmental Challenges for Middle-Income Countries
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780198852773
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • inequality
  • MICs
  • poverty
  • redistributive policies
  • taxation


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