IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Global Poverty and Inequality: A Brief Retrospective and Prospective Analysis


  • Michael Woolcock


This overview essay on policy responses to global poverty and inequality over the last ten years is structured around four themes. First, drawing on the most recent empirical data, it provides some stylised facts on recent trends in poverty and inequality in developing countries. Second, it considers the distinctive ways in which the UK government in particular has responded to these challenges over the last decade, in the context of the broader global policy effort in which it is embedded. Third, it provides a critique of these responses, finding much to both commend and about which to be concerned. On the basis of this assessment, section four considers some options for the next decade, some quite modest and others more ambitious. Section five concludes.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Woolcock, 2009. "Global Poverty and Inequality: A Brief Retrospective and Prospective Analysis," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 7809, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  • Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:7809

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alicia Adsera & Barry Chiswick, 2007. "Are there gender and country of origin differences in immigrant labor market outcomes across European destinations?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 495-526, July.
    2. Schönwälder, Karen & Söhn, Janina, 2007. "Siedlungsstrukturen von Migrantengruppen in Deutschland: Schwerpunkte der Ansiedlung und innerstädtische Konzentrationen," Discussion Papers, Programme on Intercultural Conflicts and Societal Integration (AKI) SP IV 2007-601, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
    3. Chiswick, Barry R. & DebBurman, Noyna, 2004. "Educational attainment: analysis by immigrant generation," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 361-379, August.
    4. Amelie Constant & Klaus Zimmermann, 2006. "The Making of Entrepreneurs in Germany: Are Native Men and Immigrants Alike?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 279-300, April.
    5. Buly Cardak & James Ted McDonald, 2004. "Neighbourhood effects, preference heterogeneity and immigrant educational attainment," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 559-572.
    6. Lorenz, Edward, 1999. "Trust, Contract and Economic Cooperation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(3), pages 301-315, May.
    7. Regina T. Riphahn, 2003. "Cohort effects in the educational attainment of second generation immigrants in Germany: An analysis of census data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(4), pages 711-737, November.
    8. Chiswick, Barry R & Miller, Paul M, 1996. "Ethnic Networks and Language Proficiency among Immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(1), pages 19-35, February.
    9. Thomas Bauer & Gil Epstein & Ira Gang, 2005. "Enclaves, language, and the location choice of migrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 18(4), pages 649-662, November.
    10. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    11. Chiswick, Barry R, 1978. "The Effect of Americanization on the Earnings of Foreign-born Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 897-921, October.
    12. Borjas, George J, 1985. "Assimilation, Changes in Cohort Quality, and the Earnings of Immigrants," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 463-489, October.
    13. Alberto Alesina & Eliana La Ferrara, 2003. "Ethnic Diversity and Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2028, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    14. Michael Lokshin & Zurab Sajaia, 2004. "Maximum likelihood estimation of endogenous switching regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 282-289, September.
    15. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni, 2004. "Job contact networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 191-206, March.
    16. Borjas, George J & Bratsberg, Bernt, 1996. "Who Leaves? The Outmigration of the Foreign-Born," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 165-176, February.
    17. Christian Dustmann, 1996. "The social assimilation of immigrants," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 9(1), pages 37-54, February.
    18. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-390, June.
    19. Constant, Amelie F. & Massey, Douglas S., 2003. "Labor Market Segmentation and the Earnings of German Guestworkers," IZA Discussion Papers 774, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:7809. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rowena Harding). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.