Debates in the Measurement of Global Poverty

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The international community's commitment to halve global poverty by 2015 has been enshrined in the first Millennium Development Goal. How global poverty is measured is a critical element in assessing progress towards this goal, and different researchers have presented widely-varying estimates. The chapters in this volume address a range of problems in the measurement and estimation of global poverty, from a variety of viewpoints. Topics covered include the controversies surrounding the definition of a global poverty line; the use of purchasing power parity exchange rates to map the poverty line across countries; and the quality, and appropriate use, of data from national accounts and household surveys. Both official and independent estimates of global poverty have proved to be controversial, and this volume presents and analyses the lively debate that has ensued.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Sudhir Anand is Professor of Economics at the University of Oxford and Official Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford. His recent research has focussed on inequality, poverty, and undernutrition; human development; population ethics; health economics; and the theory and measurement of economic inequality. He has been Visiting and Adjunct Professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and served as Acting Director of the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. He has also been Visiting Professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and is currently Visiting Professor at the Harvard Medical School. He chaired the WHO scientific committee on health systems performance assessment.
Paul Segal is a Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies and a Junior Research Fellow at New College, Oxford. His research covers global poverty and inequality, and the economics of resource-rich countries, with a particular focus on the distribution of income. Prior to completing his DPhil at Nuffield College, Oxford, in 2006, he was a Research Fellow at Harvard University's Global Equity Initiative, and a Consultant Economist at the UNDP, where he worked on the Human Development Report 2002. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and at the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas in Mexico City.
JJoseph E. Stiglitz was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001 and is University Professor at Columbia University, where he founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue in 2000. He was Chair of President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisors from 1995-97, and Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank from 1997-2000. He is also Chair of the University of Manchester's Brooks World Poverty Institute and is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. His best known recent publications include Making Globalization Work (2006), Fair Trade for All (2005), Globalization and its Discontents (2002) and The Roaring Nineties (2003).

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Table of Contents

List of Figures vii

List of Tables ix

List of Abbreviations xii

Contributors xv

Acknowledgments xvii

1 Introduction Sudhir Anand Paul Segal Joseph E. Stiglitz 1

Part I Measuring Global Poverty

2 The Debate on Globalization, Poverty, and Inequality: Why Measurement Matters Martin Ravallion 25

3 How Not to Count the Poor Sanjay G. Reddy Thomas Pogge 42

3a A Reply to Reddy and Pogge Martin Ravallion 86

3b How Many Poor People Should There Be? A Rejoinder to Ravallion Thomas Pogge 102

4 Raising the Standard: The War on Global Poverty Surjit S. Bhalla 115

5 Irrelevance of the $1-a-Day Poverty Line T. N. Srinivasan 143

6 Use of Country Purchasing Power Parities for International Comparisons of Poverty Levels: Potential and Limitations Bettina Aten Alan Heston 154

7 Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World) Angus Deaton 187

8 Poverty or Income Distribution: Which Do We Want to Measure? Robert Johnston 225

9 A Note on the (Mis)Use of National Accounts for Estimation of Household Final Consumption Expenditures for Poverty Measures Ivo Havinga Gisèle Kamanou Vu Quang Viet 238

10 Unequal Development in the 1990s: Growing Gaps in Human Capabilities Sakiko Fukuda-Parr David Stewart 246

Part II Regional and Country Studies

11 Improving Measurement of Latin American Inequality and Poverty with an Eye to Equitable Growth Policy Albert Berry 263

12 The Changing Nature of Urban Poverty in China Carl Riskin Qin Gao 300

13 China is Poorer than We Thought, but No Less Successful in the Fight against Poverty Shaohua Chen Martin Ravallion 327

14 Poverty Decline in India in the 1990s: A Reality and Not an Artifact K. Sundaram Suresh D. Tendulkar 341

15 Living Standards in Africa David E. Sahn Stephen D. Younger 372

Index 427

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