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Precarity and the pandemic: COVID-19 and poverty incidence, intensity, and severity in developing countries


  • Andy Sumner
  • Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez
  • Christopher Hoy


This paper makes a set of estimates for the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on poverty incidence, intensity, and severity in developing countries and on the distribution of global poverty. We conclude there could be increases in poverty of a substantial magnitude—up to 400 million new poor living under the $1.90 poverty line, over 500 million new poor living under the poverty lines of $3.20 and $5.50.

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  • Andy Sumner & Eduardo Ortiz-Juarez & Christopher Hoy, 2020. "Precarity and the pandemic: COVID-19 and poverty incidence, intensity, and severity in developing countries," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2020-77, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2020-77

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Giovanni Valensisi, 2020. "COVID-19 and Global Poverty: Are LDCs Being Left Behind?," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 32(5), pages 1535-1557, December.
    2. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-766, May.
    3. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    4. Dean Jolliffe & Espen Beer Prydz, 2016. "Estimating international poverty lines from comparable national thresholds," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 14(2), pages 185-198, June.
    5. Warwick McKibbin & Roshen Fernando, 2021. "The Global Macroeconomic Impacts of COVID-19: Seven Scenarios," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 20(2), pages 1-30, Summer.
    6. Maho Hatayama & Mariana Viollaz & Hernan Winkler, 2020. "Jobs’ Amenability to Working from Home: Evidence from Skills Surveys for 53 Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0263, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    7. Aziz Atamanov & Christoph Lakner & Daniel Gerszon Mahler & Samuel Kofi Tetteh Baah & Judy Yang, 2020. "The Effect of New PPP Estimates on Global Poverty: A First Look," Global Poverty Monitoring Technical Note Series 12, The World Bank.
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