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The Developing World Is Poorer Than We Thought, but No Less Successful in the Fight Against Poverty

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  • Shaohua Chen

    (Development Research Group, World Bank.)

  • Martin Ravallion

    (Development Research Group, World Bank.)

Abstract

A new data set on national poverty lines is combined with new price data and almost 700 household surveys to estimate absolute poverty measures for the developing world. We find that 25% of the population lived in poverty in 2005, as judged by what "poverty" typically means in the world's poorest countries. This is higher than past estimates. Substantial overall progress is still indicated-the corresponding poverty rate was 52% in 1981-but progress was very uneven across regions. The trends over time and regional profile are robust to various changes in methodology, though precise counts are more sensitive. (c) 2010 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 125 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1577-1625

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:125:y:2010:i:4:p:1577-1625

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  1. Lanjouw, Peter & Ravallion, Martin, 1995. "Poverty and Household Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(433), pages 1415-34, November.
  2. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and ... Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397, May.
  3. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 2002. "Is India's economic growth leaving the poor behind?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2846, The World Bank.
  4. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
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  7. Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Measuring aggregate welfare in developing countries - How well do national accounts and surveys agree?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2665, The World Bank.
  8. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "China is poorer than we thought, but no less successful in the fight against poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4621, The World Bank.
  9. Anton Korinek & Johan Mistiaen & Martin Ravallion, 2006. "Survey nonresponse and the distribution of income," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 33-55, April.
  10. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-61, December.
  11. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua & Sangraula, Prem, 2007. "New evidence on the urbanization of global poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4199, The World Bank.
  12. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2007. "Absolute poverty measures for the developing world, 1981-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4211, The World Bank.
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  18. Robert Ackland & Steve Dowrick & Benoit Freyens, 2013. "Measuring Global Poverty: Why PPP Methods Matter," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 813-824, July.
  19. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Data in transition: Assessing rural living standards in Southern China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 23-56.
  20. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
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  22. Ruoen, Ren & Chen Kai, 1995. "China's GDP in U.S. dollars based on purchasing power parity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1415, The World Bank.
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