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what does this sentence really mean?

it attempted to magnify the effects of growth by reducing disparities in the distribution of assets.

does it mean that:

reducing disparities in the distribution of assets will magnify the effects of growth?

does it mean that:

it wants to magnify the effects of growth because growth will reduce disparities in the distribution of assets and this itself is important?

Yusuf, Shahid 2009. Development Economics through the Decades : A Critical Look at 30 Years of the World Development Report. p 35.

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  • It's great that you included your thoughts, but it might also be helpful to respondents if you include a source whenever possible. I believe this is the source.
    – Em.
    Aug 8 '16 at 9:20
  • Thanks a lot Max. I include my thought because I think this is the problem that many beginners like me have in learning English.
    – jack
    Aug 8 '16 at 9:23
  • @jack What is the source of this sentence? Please edit your question include it. Aug 8 '16 at 9:31
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I would really want to see the author explain the thinking in more detail. My guess at what is intended:

Growth produces an increase in existing assets. If assets are held only by a prosperous few, or the distribution is very skewed, then the increase in assets is experienced by only a few. If the distribution is more widespread, then the effect of growth is more widely felt as all asset-holders see the effect. The effect is magnified because more people see/experience it.

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  • your are wonderful @djna. Thanks a lot for your really helpful guide.
    – jack
    Aug 8 '16 at 10:30
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Without getting into the economic argument...

The prepositional phrase is headed by by

...by reducing disparities in the distribution of assets.

By-phrases refer to method or manner, and thus they modify verb-phrases.

attempted to magnify the effects ... by...

The by-phrase says how the attempt to magnify the effects occurred.

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