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Counting the World's Poor: Problems and Possible Solutions

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  • Deaton, A.

Abstract

The World Bank prepares and publishes estimates of the number of poor people in the world. While everyone knows that these numbers should be taken with a pinch of salt, the numbers are arguably important. This paper discusses a number of problems with the current $1-a-day poverty counts, makes some suggestions for improvement, and identifies issues that need further research. World poverty numbers are calculated in two stages. At the first, or international stage, a world poverty line is set and used to derive comparable poverty lines for each country. At the second, or domestic stage, the poverty lines are used to count the number of poor people in each country, and the totals added up over countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Deaton, A., 2000. "Counting the World's Poor: Problems and Possible Solutions," Papers 197, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:priwds:197
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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. Pierre-Richard Agénor, 2005. "Unemployment-Poverty Tradeoffs," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Jorge Restrepo & Andrea Tokman R. & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Edi (ed.), Labor Markets and Institutions, edition 1, volume 8, chapter 5, pages 115-165 Central Bank of Chile.
    3. John Gibson & Susan Olivia, 2002. "An Illustration of the Average Time Measure of Poverty," Working Papers in Economics 02/04, University of Waikato.
    4. James E. Foster & Miguel Székely, 2008. "Is Economic Growth Good For The Poor? Tracking Low Incomes Using General Means," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1143-1172, November.
    5. Ann Harrison, 2007. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number harr06-1, January.
    6. Katsushi Imai & Raghav Gaiha, 2003. "Millennium Development Goals, Agricultural Growth and Openness," Economics Series Working Papers 161, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    7. Svedberg, Peter, 2003. "World Income Distribution: Which Way?," Seminar Papers 724, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    8. James E. Foster & Miguel Székely, 2001. "¿Es el crecimiento económico bueno para los pobres? Seguimiento del ingreso bajo con medias generales," Research Department Publications 4270, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    9. Adams, Richard H. Jr., 2003. "Economic growth, inequality, and poverty : findings from a new data set," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2972, The World Bank.
    10. James E. Foster & Miguel Székely, 2001. "Is Economic Growth Good for the Poor?: Tracking Low Incomes Using General Means," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 1412, Inter-American Development Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    POVERTY ; ECONOMIC GROWTH ; CURRENCIES;

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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