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Where do the World’s Multidimensionally Poor People Live?

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  • Sabina Alkire, José Manuel Roche and Andy Sumner

Abstract

This paper asks where do the world’s multidimensionally poor people live? The paper considers how the global distribution of multidimensional poverty differs from the global distribution of income poverty and assesses the sensitivity of findings to widely used (although somewhat arbitrary) country classifications. Surprisingly perhaps, only a quarter of multidimensionally poor people and just one-third of severely multidimensionally poor people live in the world’s poorest countries - meaning Low Income Countries (LICs) or Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The sensitivity of findings about country thresholds for low and middle-income countries is discussed. The paper argues that there is a split of distribution poverty between both stable Middle Income Countries (MICs) and low-income fragile states, and that there is a “multidimensional bottom billion” living in stable MICs. The analysis is based on 83 countries, and uses the 2011 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) poverty estimates of the UNDP Human Development Report.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp061
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    File URL: http://workingpapers.qeh.ox.ac.uk/pdf/ophiwp/OPHIWP061.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stephan Klasen & Simon Lange, 2011. "Getting Progress Right: Measuring Progress Towards the MDGs Against Historical Trends," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 87, Courant Research Centre PEG, revised 20 Feb 2012.
    2. Alkire, Sabina & Foster, James, 2011. "Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 476-487.
    3. Sabina Alkire & James Foster, 2011. "Understandings and misunderstandings of multidimensional poverty measurement," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 289-314, June.
    4. Gustav Ranis & Frances Stewart, 2012. "Success and Failure in Human Development, 1970--2007," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 167-195, May.
    5. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. M. Azhar Hussain, 2016. "EU Country Rankings’ Sensitivity to the Choice of Welfare Indicators," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 125(1), pages 1-17, January.
    2. Meera Tiwari & Sabina Alkire & Jose Manuel Roche & Suman Seth & Andrew Sumner, 2015. "Identifying the Poorest People and Groups: Strategies Using the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(3), pages 362-387, April.
    3. Francesco Farina, 2015. "Development theory and poverty. A review," Working Papers 46-2015, Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE), revised Jan 2015.
    4. Rogelio Madrueño-Aguilar, 2017. "Global Income Distribution and the Middle-Income Strata: Implications for the World Development Taxonomy Debate," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 29(1), pages 1-18, January.
    5. Francesco Farina, 2016. "The Path Dependency of Poverty Reduction Policies," HISTORY OF ECONOMIC THOUGHT AND POLICY, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2016(1), pages 21-42.

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