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Poor Countries or Poor People? Development Assistance and the New Geography of Global Poverty

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  • Kanbur, Ravi
  • Sumner, Andy

Abstract

Two decades ago, 93% of the world’s poor lived in countries officially classified as Low Income (LICs). Now, 72% of the world’s poor live in Middle Income Countries (MICs). The dramatic shift has been brought about by fast growth in a number of countries with large populations. On present trends, the poor in the MICs are likely to make up a substantial proportion of global poor for many years to come. This “new geography of global poverty”—with the mass of the poor living in stable, non-poor countries--raises important questions for the current model of development assistance, where national per capita income is a key determinant of the volume and composition of aid flows. What precisely is the nature of global moral obligation towards the poor in non-poor countries? Should aid allocation be targeted equally to the poor in poor and non-poor countries, or should special weight be given to the poor in poor countries? How, if at all, should international agencies with a focus on poverty reduction re-calibrate their engagement in MICs? The objective of this paper is to begin addressing these questions to spark greater debate on the new geography of global poverty.

Suggested Citation

  • Kanbur, Ravi & Sumner, Andy, 2011. "Poor Countries or Poor People? Development Assistance and the New Geography of Global Poverty," CEPR Discussion Papers 8489, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8489
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    Cited by:

    1. Ghani, Ejaz & Iyer, Lakshmi & Mishra, Saurabh, 2013. "Promoting Shared Prosperity in South Asia," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 110, pages 1-8, March.
    2. Guillaumont, Patrick & Guillaumont Jeanneney, Sylviane & Wagner, Laurent, 2017. "How to Take into Account Vulnerability in Aid Allocation Criteria and Lack of Human Capital as Well: Improving the Performance Based Allocation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 27-40.
    3. Sumner, Andy, 2012. "Where Do The Poor Live?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 865-877.
    4. Ghani, Ejaz, 2011. "The South Asian Development Paradox: Can Social Outcomes Keep Pace with Growth?," World Bank - Economic Premise, The World Bank, issue 53, pages 1-6, March.
    5. Carter, Patrick & Postel-Vinay, Fabien & Temple, Jonathan, 2015. "Dynamic aid allocation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 291-304.
    6. Greenstein Joshua, 2015. "New Patterns of Structural Change and Effects on Inclusive Development: A Case Study of South Africa and Brazil," WIDER Working Paper Series 006, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Sabina Alkire, José Manuel Roche and Andy Sumner, 2013. "Where do the World’s Multidimensionally Poor People Live?," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp061, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    8. Fields, Gary S., 2012. "Aid, Growth, and Jobs," WIDER Working Paper Series 086, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Facundo Alvaredo & Leonardo Gasparini, 2013. "Recent Trends in Inequality and Poverty in Developing Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0151, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    10. Ugo Gentilini & Andy Sumner, 2012. "Poverty Where People Live: What Do National Poverty Lines Tell us About Global Poverty?," One Pager 182, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Development Assistance; Low Income Countries; Middle Income Countries; Poverty;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations

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