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Has World Poverty Really Fallen?

Sanjay G. Reddy

The New School - Department of Economics; Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)

Camelia Minoiu

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

April 2, 2007

We evaluate the claim that world consumption poverty has fallen since 1990 in light of alternative assumptions about the extent of initial poverty and the rate of subsequent poverty reduction in China, India, and the rest of the developing world. We use two poverty indicators: the aggregate headcount and the headcount ratio, and consider two widely-used international poverty lines ($1/day and $2/day). We conclude that, because of uncertainties in relation to the extent and trend of poverty in China, India, and the rest of the developing world, global poverty may or may not have increased. The extent of the estimated increase or decrease in world poverty is critically dependent on the assumptions made. Our conclusions highlight the importance of improving the quality of global poverty statistics.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: world poverty, sensitivity analysis, China, India, Millennium Development Goals

JEL Classification: I32, I30, O53

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Date posted: August 3, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Reddy, Sanjay G. and Minoiu, Camelia, Has World Poverty Really Fallen? (April 2, 2007). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=921153 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.921153

Contact Information

Sanjay G. Reddy (Contact Author)
The New School - Department of Economics ( email )
Room 1116
6 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD) ( email )
New York, NY
United States
Camelia Minoiu
International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )
1700 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC USA 20431
United States
2026239731 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/minoiucamelia/
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