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The Median is the Message: A Good Enough Measure of Material Wellbeing and Shared Development Progress

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  • Nancy Birdsall
  • Christian J. Meyer

Abstract

type="graphical" xml:id="gpol12239-abs-0002"> We propose a simple and easily understood measure of material well-being, and of change in material well-being of the ‘typical’ person in developing countries, i.e. of the person or household who is at the median of the distribution of per capita consumption expenditure. We argue that this measure has three advantages: simplicity and accessibility, durability, and relevance as a broad reflection of the development as a modernization process.

Suggested Citation

  • Nancy Birdsall & Christian J. Meyer, 2015. "The Median is the Message: A Good Enough Measure of Material Wellbeing and Shared Development Progress," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 6(4), pages 343-357, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:glopol:v:6:y:2015:i:4:p:343-357
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    Cited by:

    1. Scott Morris & Madeleine Gleave, 2016. "The World Bank at 75," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 7(01), pages 1-39, February.
    2. Birdsall, Nancy & Lustig, Nora & Meyer, Christian J., 2014. "The Strugglers: The New Poor in Latin America?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 132-146.
    3. Martin Ravallion, 2017. "Inequality and globalization: A review essay," Working Papers 435, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    4. repec:eme:ijsepp:ijse-06-2015-0170 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • H22 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Incidence
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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