Levels and Trends in Absolute Poverty in the World: What we know and what we don’t
AbstractThis paper critically reviews the recent changes to the Global Poverty numbers generated by the World Bank in 2008. While they have little impact on observed poverty trends and while there are good reasons to believe that the previous numbers were on weak foundations, the new numbers on levels of poverty in the developing world create new uncertainties und questions. In particular, there are conceptual issues involved in using one ICP round to update all poverty numbers and more empirical issues related to the particular results of the 2005 ICP round. This paper reviews these issues and finds that we cannot be very certain about levels of absolute poverty in the world and that the current method for generating these absolute poverty numbers is problematic and should possibly be abandoned. At the same time, poverty trends are much less affected by these methodological issues. The paper also discusses potential alternatives to the current methods and highlights their strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, there is no readily available alternative to the current method, though with some difficulty, such an alternative could be developed.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Courant Research Centre PEG in its series Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers with number 11.
Date of creation: 31 Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3; D-37073 Goettingen, GERMANY
Phone: +49 551 39 14066
Fax: + 49 551 39 14059
Web page: http://www.uni-goettingen.de/en/82144.html
International Comparison of Prices; Purchasing Power Parity; World Poverty;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-09-11 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2010.
"The Developing World Is Poorer Than We Thought, but No Less Successful in the Fight Against Poverty,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 125(4), pages 1577-1625, November.
- Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "The developing world is poorer than we thought, but no less successful in the fight against poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4703, The World Bank.
- Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi, 1989.
"How serious is the neglect of intrahousehold inequality ?,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
296, The World Bank.
- Haddad, Lawrence & Kanbur, Ravi, 1990. "How Serious Is the Neglect of Intra-Household Inequality?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 866-81, September.
- Haddad, L. & Kanbur, R., 1989. "How Serious Is The Neglectof Intra-Household Inequality?," Papers 450, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Klasen, Stephan, 2000. "Measuring Poverty and Deprivation in South Africa," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(1), pages 33-58, March.
- Sanjay G. Reddy & Sujata Visaria & Muhammad Asali, 2006.
"Inter-country Comparisons of Poverty Based on a Capability Approach: An Empirical Exercise,"
27, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
- Sanjay Reddy & Sujata Visaria & Muhammad Asali, 2006. "Inter-country Comparisons of Poverty Based on Capability Approach: An Empirical Exercise," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2006-038, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Stephan Klasen & Mark Misselhorn, 2008.
"Determinants of the Growth Semi-Elasticity of Poverty Reduction,"
Ibero America Institute for Econ. Research (IAI) Discussion Papers
176, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.
- Misselhorn, Mark & Klasen, Stephan, 2006. "Determinants of the Growth Semi-Elasticity of Poverty Reduction," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2006 15, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
- Theo S Eicher & Cecilia Garcia Penalosa, .
"Inequality and Growth,"
Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington
0083, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
- Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2007. "Absolute poverty measures for the developing world, 1981-2004," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4211, The World Bank.
- Camelia Minoiu & Shatakshee Dhongde, 2011.
"Global Poverty Estimates: A Sensitivity Analysis,"
IMF Working Papers
11/234, International Monetary Fund.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dominik Noe).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.