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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.

Suggested Citation

  • François Bourguignon, 2005. "Comment on "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)" by Angus Deaton," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 20-22, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:87:y:2005:i:1:p:20-22
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    Cited by:

    1. Ruiz-Castillo, Javier, 2005. "Relative and absolute poverty : the case of México, 1992-2004," UC3M Working papers. Economics we061103, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    2. Harrison, Ann & McLaren, John & McMillan, Margaret S., 2010. "Recent findings on trade and inequality:," IFPRI discussion papers 1047, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Dhongde, Shatakshee & Minoiu, Camelia, 2013. "Global Poverty Estimates: A Sensitivity Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-13.
    4. Trinh Le, 2007. "Does New Zealand have a household saving crisis?," Macroeconomics Working Papers 23081, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    5. Roberto Luis Olinto Ramos & Lisbeth Rivas & Gonzalo C Pastor Campos, 2008. "Latin America; Highlights from the Implementation of the System of National Accounts 1993 (1993 SNA)," IMF Working Papers 08/239, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Qiang Zhang & Sung Jin Kang, 2007. "Crisis and Consumption Smoothing," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 8(1), pages 137-154, May.
    7. 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 161, Ibero-America Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty

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