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Global poverty and inequality : a review of the evidence

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  • Ferreira, Francisco H.G.
  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

Drawing on a compilation of data from household surveys representing 130 countries, many over a period of 25 years, this paper reviews the evidence on levels and recent trends in global poverty and income inequality. It documents the negative correlations between both poverty and inequality indices, on the one hand, and mean income per capita on the other. It points to the dominant role of Asia in accounting for the bulk of the world's poverty reduction since 1981. The evolution of global inequality in the last decades is also described, with special emphasis on the different trends of inequality within and between countries. The statistical relationships between growth, inequality and poverty are discussed, as is the correlation between inequality and the growth elasticity of poverty reduction. Some of the recent literature on the drivers of distributional change in developing countries is also reviewed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4623.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4623

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Keywords: Inequality; Achieving Shared Growth; Services&Transfers to Poor; Population Policies; Poverty Impact Evaluation;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Desire Avom & Fabrizio Carmignani & Abdour Chowdhury, . "Four Scenarios of Poverty Reduction and the Role of Economic Policy," MRG Discussion Paper Series 3109, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
  2. Nora Lustig & Jaime Ros, 2011. "Latin America's Economic Challenges: Lessons for Emerging Economies," Working Papers 1112, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  3. Anderson, Kym & Cockburn, John & Martin, Will, 2011. "Would freeing up world trade reduce poverty and inequality ? the vexed role of agricultural distortions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5603, The World Bank.
  4. Cielito F. Habito, 2010. "Patterns of Inclusive Growth in Developing Asia: Insights from an Enhanced Growth-Poverty Elasticity Analysis," Working Papers id:3076, eSocialSciences.
  5. Nora Lustig & George Gray-Molina & Sean Higgins & Miguel Jaramillo & Wilson Jiménez & Veronica Paz & Claudiney Pereira & Carola Pessino & John Scott & Ernesto Yañez, 2012. "The Impact of Taxes and Social Spending on Inequality and Poverty in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Peru: A Synthesis of Results," Working Papers 264, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  6. Batana, Yélé & Bussolo, Maurizio & Cockburn, John, 2013. "Global extreme poverty rates for children, adults and the elderly," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 405-407.
  7. Nora Lustig, Luis F. Lopez-Calva, Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, 2012. "Declining Inequality in Latin America in the 2000s: The Cases of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico," Working Papers 307, Center for Global Development.
  8. Bussolo, Maurizio & De Hoyos, Rafael E. & Medvedev, Denis, 2008. "Is the developing world catching up ? global convergence and national rising dispersion," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4733, The World Bank.
  9. Machiko, Nissanke, 2011. "International and Institutional Traps in Sub-Saharan Africa under Globalisation: A Comparative Perspective," CEI Working Paper Series 2011-6, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  10. Shimeles Abebe, 2010. "Working Paper 122 - Welfare Analysis Using Data from the International Comparison Program for Africa," Working Paper Series 259, African Development Bank.
  11. Nora Lustig & Luis F. Lopez-Calva & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez, 2011. "The Decline in Inequality in Latin America: How Much, Since When and Why," Working Papers 1118, Tulane University, Department of Economics.
  12. Marotta, Daniela & Yemtsov, Ruslan & El-Laithy, Heba & Abou-Ali, Hala & Al-Shawarby, Sherine, 2011. "Was growth in Egypt between 2005 and 2008 pro-poor ? from static to dynamic poverty profile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5589, The World Bank.
  13. Ali Abdel Gadir Ali, . "The Political Economy of Inequality in the Arab Region and Relevant Development Policies," API-Working Paper Series 0904, Arab Planning Institute - Kuwait, Information Center.

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