The proposal for a strategy combining Redistribution with Growth (RWG) was first put forward, at least in contemporary literature on development, by H. W. Singer in 1972 in a working paper for the ILO Employment Mission to Kenya for which he was Chief of Mission. In the course of the Mission, the elements of such a strategy were clarified, made specific to the Kenya context and developed as the unifying theme of the report’s recommendations. The formal exposition of the strategy will be found in Chapter 7 of the ILO Kenya Report, Employment Incomes and Equality (Geneva, 1972) — though details of its implications for the different sector programmes will be found in virtually every chapter of the document. Subsequently the elements of RWG were generalised in a brief paper published (with very slight modifications) as technical paper no. 6 of the report.1 These ideas plus others arising from the two earlier ILO Employment Missions to Colombia2 and Sri Lanka3 were then used as the basis for two conferences and a programme of work by a joint IBRD/IDS group concerned to incorporate these ideas into formal planning models. This group in the event primarily focused on RWG, and elaborated and developed its macro-economic approach a good deal further, drawing on papers, discussions and critiques presented at the two conferences.


Income Inequality Income Distribution Income Redistribution Keynesian Model Urban Wage 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    ILO, Towards Full Employment (Geneva, 1970).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    ILO, Matching Employment Opportunities and Expectations (Geneva, 1971).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Hollis Chenery, Montek S. Ahluwalia, C. L. G. Bell, John H. Duloy, Richard Jolly, Redistribution with Growth (OUP, 1974).Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Indeed, growth without deliberate measures to achieve a more favourable redistribution might well involve a transitional period of even greater inequality, not merely a maintenance of the existing degree of inequality. This prediction would follow from the work of Kuznets and others based on statistical analyses of time series and cross-sectional data relating measures of inequality to per capita income in a number of both developed and less developed countries. The argument is summarised and basic references given in H. Chenery et al., RWG (1974) p. 17.Google Scholar
  5. 14.
    For an excellent review, see A.K. Sen Growth Economics Penguin 1968.Google Scholar
  6. 15.
    Lewis, W. A., ‘Economic Development with unlimited supplies of Labour’ Manchester School 1954 andGoogle Scholar
  7. Fei, J. C. H. and Ranis, G., Development of the Labour Surplus Economy: Theory and Policy Irwin 1964.Google Scholar
  8. 18.
    Soltow, L., ‘Long-run Changes in British Income Inequality’, Economic History Review, 1968, summarises the statistical evidence on income inequality in Britain, inevitably based on partial and not wholly reliable data. The estimates show that the Gini coefficient of income distribution remained between 0.56 and 0.50 for the two centuries up to 1913 compared with 0.34 in 1962/3. Soltow’s judgements on the changes between the periods for which data are available are as follows: 1688–1801/3 no change in inequality 1801–1867/80 probably no change, just possibly some reduction 1867/80–1911/13 certainly no increase, possibly 10 per cent reduction 1911/13–1962/3 substantial decrease in inequality Besides these changes in overall inequality, upper tail income tax data show evidence of continuous decline in inequality between 1801, 1911/12 and 1962/3. The more recent evidence is summarised inGoogle Scholar
  9. R. J. Nicholson, ‘The distribution of personal income’, Lloyds Bank Review, 1967, andGoogle Scholar
  10. Smith, B. Abel and Townsend, P., The Poor and the Poorest (Bell, 1965). Note that within the limitations of the data, most analysts agree that poverty and inequality were both reduced over the decade or two until the early 1950s — but that it is much more doubtful whether the process has continued thereafter.Google Scholar
  11. 20.
    See for instance E. Boorstein, ‘The economic transformation of Cuba’, Monthly Review, New York, 1968.Google Scholar
  12. 21.
    Quotation from Colin Leys, ‘The Politics of Redistribution with Growth’, IDS internal working paper no. 15 (mimeo, 1974).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Alec Cairncross and Mohinder Puri 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Jolly

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations