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The challenging arithmetic of poverty in Bangladesh

Listed author(s):
  • Ravallion, Martin

The arithmetic of poverty in Bangladesh is challenging from a number of perspectives. Counting Bangladesh's poor is difficult to do with seemingly tolerable precision, even just to get some idea of whether recent efforts to alleviate poverty have succeeded. But that is only the beginning of the challenge. The details of how to find resources, and design and implement effective policies - the arithmetic of poverty alleviation in Bangladesh - pose a severe challenge to policy analysts, governments, and the international community. This paper aims to offer a critical assessment of recent evidence relevant to these issues. It addresses the following three questions: (i) Has poverty decreased in Bangladesh during the 1980s? (ii) How responsive is poverty in Bangladesh to economic growth and changes in relative inequalities? (iii) What are the prospects for poverty alleviation through currently anticipated economic growth in Bangladesh? The paper takes a close look at some recent data suggesting that the problem of poverty in Bangladesh may be diminishing quite rapidly. It offers an empirical assessment of how much impact on poverty in Bangladesh is expected from economic growth, and from changes in overall inequality.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 586.

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Date of creation: 28 Feb 1991
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:586
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  1. Atkinson, A B, 1987. "On the Measurement of Poverty," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 749-764, July.
  2. Datt, Gaurav*Ravallion, Martin, 1990. "Regional disparities, targeting, and poverty in India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 375, The World Bank.
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