Population–Poverty–Inequality Nexus and Social Protection in Africa

Abstract

This study examines how social protection policies and programmes can help in poverty and inequality reduction in Africa. The study covers 38 African countries and engages the fixed and random effects models utilising data sourced from the World Development Indicators, Gini Index and Country Policy Institutional Assessment for the period 2000–2017. A remarkable finding, among other things, from the study is that a 1% increase in the provision of social protection will decrease poverty and inequality by 58% and 26%, respectively. The results imply that the provision of social protection contributes to poverty and inequality reduction in Africa. Therefore, the study recommends that the efficient provision of social protection should be implemented through in-kind and in-cash supports, among others, in order to reduce the level of poverty and inequality in Africa. Although, social protection appears to be an essential strategy for reducing, to a more considerable extent, poverty and, to a relatively lesser extent, inequality in Africa, there are also regional variations. Thus, the study submits that the type (s) of social protection policies may need to differ from one region to the other.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Another variable that could affect poverty and inequality, which would have been included is education. However, we opine that education is embedded in employment. This understanding is crucial as education influences employment process because the level of education strongly correlates with employment (Osabuohien et al. 2019; Asongu et al. 2019).

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Acknowledgements

The authors appreciate the helpful comments from the anonymous reviewers. Also, the Equipment Subsidy Grant awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation [REF: 3.4-8151/19047] to the Centre for Economic Policy and Development Research (CEPDeR), Covenant University that facilitated the revision of the paper is acknowledged.

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Osabohien, R., Matthew, O., Ohalete, P. et al. Population–Poverty–Inequality Nexus and Social Protection in Africa. Soc Indic Res (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-020-02381-0

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Keywords

  • Gini Index
  • Governance
  • Inequality
  • Institutional framework
  • Poverty reduction
  • Social protection

JEL Classification

  • D63
  • I14
  • I31
  • O43