Extracts from email 

Matt Berkley
10 August 2000
To: cmelamed@christian-aid.org
Re: Dollar and Kraay


Thanks for the papers.

I've found another one, from the Center for Economic Policy and Research in Washington - released on Monday.

It mentions the possibility that the poorest dying off can make the figures look better. This still seems plausible to me, but more plausible is that the figures look better if non-productive people die.

...One reason why per capita income figures go up can be that fertility rates have gone down (this might be due to growth among the poor, national growth, or something else). ...

There are obviously other factors: for example, over time, the poorest people may produce more children replacing the dead ones.

It would seem sensible to compare countries' national and bottom-quintile growth rates along with 1) fertility rates; 2) ratios of productive to non-productive members of households; and 3) death rates among non-productive members of households (under-fives would be a good start).  ...

I do wonder how in a situation where a high numbers of children die, there could be more debate about the effects of growth on fertility rates and survival rather than on tiny changes in income. ...