While most economic development research views poverty as a sign of need for development or poverty reduction as an outcome of successful development, this study treats poverty as an independent variable alongside contemporary measures of innovation capacity that reflect state potential for economic development, examining the combined impact of poverty and innovation capacity on economic development outcomes. The study examines the effect poverty has on economic development outcomes given levels of innovation capacity, and the effect poverty has on formation of state innovation capacity. The methodology consists of pooled cross-sectional time-series analysis with panel corrected standard errors with lags. The findings show mixed support for the effect of poverty on innovation capacity formation, weak support for the negative direct effects of poverty on economic growth, and strong support confirming important differences between the south and the rest of the nation. Poverty appears to impact economic growth only indirectly through its effect on the components of capacity that lead to economic growth.

Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date


Discussion Paper Number

DP 2007-01