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Comment on "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)" by Angus Deaton

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  • François Bourguignon

    (The World Bank)

Abstract

Angus Deaton discusses the ambiguity that arises from using different definitions and data sources for individual income or consumption levels in world poverty measurement. Should one rely on the direct information on individual consumption or income provided by national representative household surveys, or should consumption and income figures be scaled up or down so that means coincide with National Accounts (NA) data? It is generally the case that consumption expenditure per capita estimated in the NA is higher than the mean expenditure per capita obtained in surveys: thus scaling up leads to lower poverty estimates than when surveys are used. It is also the case that the difference between the two estimates tends to widen over time, so that trends are not more reliable than poverty estimates at one point of time. Deaton analyzes in detail the reasons for this divergence and concludes that NA-scaled survey data are in some sense faulty, whereas a pure consistency argument pleads in favor of using survey data at their face value. © 2005 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 Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 87 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 20-22

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:87:y:2005:i:1:p:20-22

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Cited by:
  1. Roberto Luis Olinto Ramos & Lisbeth Rivas & Gonzalo C. Pastor, 2008. "Latin America," IMF Working Papers, International Monetary Fund 08/239, International Monetary Fund.
  2. Qiang Zhang & Sung Jin Kang, 2007. "Crisis and Consumption Smoothing," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, Society for AEF, vol. 8(1), pages 137-154, May.
  3. Ann Harrison & John McLaren & Margaret S. McMillan, 2010. "Recent Findings on Trade and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 16425, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Trinh Le, 2007. "Does New Zealand have a household saving crisis?," Macroeconomics Working Papers 23081, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  5. Hajo Holzmann & Sebastian Vollmer & Julian Weisbrod, 2007. "Income Distribution Dynamics and Pro-Poor Growth in the World from 1970 to 2003," Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research 161, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Javier Ruiz-Castillo Ucelay, 2005. "Relative And Absolute Poverty. The Case Of México, 1992-2004," Economics Working Papers, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía we061103, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  7. Dhongde, Shatakshee & Minoiu, Camelia, 2013. "Global Poverty Estimates: A Sensitivity Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-13.

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