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Counting the World's Poor: Problems and Possible Solutions

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  • Deaton, A.

Abstract

The World Bank prepares and publishes estimates of the number of poor people in the world. While everyone knows that these numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt, the numbers are arguably important. This paper discusses a number of problems with the current $1-a-day poverty counts, makes some suggestions for improvement, and identifies issues that need further research. World poverty numbers are calculated in two stages. At the first, or international stage, a world poverty line is set and used to derive comparable poverty lines for each country. At the second, or domestic stage, the poverty lines are used to count the number of poor people in each country, and the totals added up over countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies in its series Papers with number 197.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:priwds:197

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Postal: PRINCETON UNIVERSITY, WOODROW WILSON SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, PRINCETON NEW- JERSEY 08542 U.S.A.
Phone: (609) 258-4800
Web page: http://www.wws.princeton.edu/
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Keywords: POVERTY ; ECONOMIC GROWTH ; CURRENCIES;

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Cited by:
  1. Svedberg, Peter, 2003. "World Income Distribution: Which Way?," Seminar Papers 724, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2005. "Unemployment-Poverty Tradeoffs," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Jorge Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R. & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Labor Markets and Institutions, edition 1, volume 8, chapter 5, pages 115-165 Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Ann Harrison, 2007. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number harr06-1, July.
  4. James E. Foster & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Is Economic Growth Good for the Poor? Tracking Low Incomes Using General Means," Research Department Publications 4269, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  5. Javier Ruiz-Castillo Ucelay, 2005. "Relative And Absolute Poverty. The Case Of México, 1992-2004," Economics Working Papers we061103, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  6. James E. Foster & Miguel Székely, 2001. "¿Es el crecimiento económico bueno para los pobres? Seguimiento del ingreso bajo con medias generales," Research Department Publications 4270, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  7. Katsushi Imai & Raghav Gaiha, 2003. "Millennium Development Goals, Agricultural Growth and Openness," Economics Series Working Papers 161, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  8. Azam, Jean-Paul, 2003. "Poverty and Growth in the WAEMU after the 1994 Devaluation," IDEI Working Papers 197, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  9. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2003. "Economic growth, inequality, and poverty : findings from a new data set," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2972, The World Bank.
  10. John Gibson & Susan Olivia, 2002. "An Illustration of the Average Time Measure of Poverty," Working Papers in Economics 02/04, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.

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