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How did the world's poorest fare in the 1990s ?

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  • Shaohua Chen
  • Ravallion, Martin

Abstract

Drawing on data from 265 national sample surveys spanning 83 countries, the authors find that there was a net decrease in the total incidence of consumption poverty between 1987 and 1998. But it was not enough to reduce the total number of poor people, by various definitions. The incidence of poverty fell in Asia and the Middle East and North Africa, changed little in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, and rose in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The two main proximate causes of the disappointing rate of poverty reduction: too little economic growth in many of the poorest countries, and persistent inequalities (in both income and other essential measures) that kept the poor from participating in the growth that did occur.

Suggested Citation

  • Shaohua Chen & Ravallion, Martin, 2000. "How did the world's poorest fare in the 1990s ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2409, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2409
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997. "What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-382, May.
    2. Ravallion, Martin, 1997. "Can high-inequality developing countries escape absolute poverty?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 51-57, September.
    3. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav, 1999. "When is growth pro-poor? Evidence from the diverse experiences of India's states," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2263, The World Bank.
    4. Chen, Shaohua & Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Is Poverty Increasing in the Developing World?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 40(4), pages 359-376, December.
    5. Kakwani, Nanak, 1993. "Poverty and Economic Growth with Application to Cote d'Ivoire," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(2), pages 121-139, June.
    6. Bruno, Michael & Ravallion, Martin & Squire, Lyn, 1996. "Equity and growth in developing countries : old and new perspectives on the policy issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1563, The World Bank.
    7. Lant Pritchett, 1997. "Divergence, Big Time," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 3-17, Summer.
    8. Ravallion, Martin & Datt, Gaurav & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "Quantifying Absolute Poverty in the Developing World," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 37(4), pages 345-361, December.
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