Using 1996–97 and 2002–03 nationally representative household surveys, we examine the extent to which growth in Mozambique has been pro-poor. While all sections of society enjoyed a rapid annual increase in consumption between the sample periods, the rate of growth in consumption was slightly higher for richer households. This has led to a moderate increase in inequality at the national level, as demonstrated by the rise in the Gini coefficient from 0.40 to 0.42. However, this slight increase in inequality is not statistically significant, and its impact on poverty reduction efforts is small: the poverty headcount would have been 53.0 percent in 2002–03 if all sections of society had enjoyed the mean growth rate in consumption, compared with the 54.1 percent at which it actually stood. Interestingly, the use of the entropy class of inequality measures indicates that inequality in real consumption between provinces and regions has diminished over time, in contrast to popular claims. Maputo City continues to have the highest rates of inequality in the country; it witnessed a significant increase in inequality between 1996–97 and 2002–03 (the Gini coefficient rose from 0.44 to 0.52).


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