Structural Transformation and Poverty in the WAEMU


Poverty is a major concern for West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) countries. If poverty is decreasing in the WAEMU, it’s level remains high when compared to other developing countries. The low productivity of the agricultural sector, which represents the main activity of the poor in this area, explains the high level of the poverty. A structural transformation that would shift resources from low productivity sectors (notably agriculture) to high productivity sectors (manufacturing and services) would be conducive to poverty reduction. Indeed, evidence from both developed and emerging countries shows that structural change is associated with poverty reduction. In this context, this study analyses the relationship between structural transformation and poverty in the seven (7) WAEMU countries over the period 1996-2019. A simultaneous equation model was used to assess this relationship. The results show that structural transformation does not contribute to poverty reduction in the WEAMU. However, its effect becomes favourable when combined structural transformation with human capital development. In order to fight poverty, the study recommends that the structural transformation process must be accompanied by an improvement in human capital.
  1. Achmad, R., & Listiono (2021). Structural transformation and poverty eradication in east java (a panel data approach of 38 counties). Journal of Developing Economies, 6(1), 114-122.  |   Google Scholar
  2. Barbier, B., & Hochard, J. P. (2014). Poverty and the spatial distribution of rural population. Policy research working paper, 7101.  |   Google Scholar
  3. Baumol, W. J. (1967). Macroeconomics of unbalanced growth: the anatomy of urban crisis. American Economic Review, 57(3), 415-426.  |   Google Scholar
  4. BCEAO (2012). Rapport sur la situation de la pauvreté dans les pays de l'UEMOA. French.  |   Google Scholar
  5. De-Vries, G. J., Timmer, M. P., & De-Vries, K. (2013). Structural transformation in Africa: static gains, dynamic losses. GGDC Research Memorandum, 136.  |   Google Scholar
  6. CEA (2011). Rapport economique sur l’afrique 2011. Gérer le développement: le rôle de l’état dans la transformation économique. French.  |   Google Scholar
  7. Diego, R., Dennis, T.Y., & Xiaodong, Z. (2008). Agriculture and aggregate productivity: a quantitative cross-country analysis. Journal of Monetary Economics, 55(2008), 234–250.  |   Google Scholar
  8. Duarte, M., & Diego R. (2006). The structural transformation and aggregate productivity in Portugal. Portuguese Economic Journal, 6(1), 23–46.  |   Google Scholar
  9. Ghani, E., O’Connell, D. (2016). Les services peuvent-ils devenir un escalator de croissance pour les pays à faible revenu? Revue d'Economie du Développement, 24, 143-173. French.  |   Google Scholar
  10. Fitria, A., Herman, C. D., & Endah, K. L. (2020). Structural transformation of agriculture and poverty in Indonesia. Wiga: Journal Penelitian Ilmu Ekonomi, 10(1)  |   Google Scholar
  11. Fleming, M. (1955). External economies and the doctrine of balanced growth. The Economic Journal, 65(258), 241-256.  |   Google Scholar
  12. Habito, F. (2009). Patterns of inclusive growth in Asia: insights from an enhanced growth-poverty elasticity analysis. ADBI Working Paper, no 145. Institut de la banque asiatique de développement, Tokyo.  |   Google Scholar
  13. Kaldor, N. (1966). Causes of the slow rate of economic growth of the UK. Cambridge University Press.  |   Google Scholar
  14. Lee, E. (2018). Poverty reduction under structural changes. Yeoseong-Gyeongjeyeongu, 15(1), 65–83.  |   Google Scholar
  15. Lewis, W. (1954). Economic development with unlimited supplies of labor. The Manchester School, 22(2), 139-191.  |   Google Scholar
  16. McMillan, M., & Rodrik, D. (2011). Globalization, structural change, and productivity growth. NBER Working Paper 17143, Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.  |   Google Scholar
  17. Mustafa, K. (2012). Structural change, income distribution and poverty in Asean-4 countries (Master thesis, Lund University).  |   Google Scholar
  18. Noufe, T. (2018). Essays on human capital, agricultural productivity, and rural poverty in Burkina Faso (Doctoral thesis, Ouaga II University).  |   Google Scholar
  19. Cadot, O., Jaime, D. M., Patrick, P., Laurent, W., Martha, T. W. (2016). Industrialisation et transformation structurelle: l’Afrique Subsaharienne peut-elle se développer sans usines? Revue d'Economie du Développement, 24, 19-49. French.  |   Google Scholar
  20. Ravallion, M., & Chen, S. (2007). China's (uneven) progress against poverty. Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, 82(1), 1-42.  |   Google Scholar
  21. Timmer, C. P., & Selvin, A. (2008). Technical annexes to ‘the structural transformation as a pathway out of poverty: analytics, empirics and politics. Working Paper No. XXX, Center for Global Development, Washington, DC.  |   Google Scholar
  22. UNIDO (2012). Structural change, poverty reduction and industrial policy in the BRICS. In UNIDO.  |   Google Scholar

How to Cite

Roufaye, S. W., Nafiou, M. M., & Ouedraogo, I. M. (2023). Structural Transformation and Poverty in the WAEMU. European Journal of Development Studies, 3(3), 24–33.

Search Panel

 Saidou W. Roufaye
 Google Scholar |   EJMED Journal

 Malam M. Nafiou
 Google Scholar |   EJMED Journal

 Idrissa M. Ouedraogo
 Google Scholar |   EJMED Journal