Has World Poverty Really Fallen?

19 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2007

See all articles by Sanjay G. Reddy

Sanjay G. Reddy

The New School - Department of Economics

Camelia Minoiu

Federal Reserve Board

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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.

Suggested Citation

Reddy, Sanjay G. and Minoiu, Camelia, Has World Poverty Really Fallen?. Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 53, No. 3, pp. 484-502, September 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1010787 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4991.2007.00240.x

Sanjay G. Reddy (Contact Author)

The New School - Department of Economics ( email )

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Camelia Minoiu

Federal Reserve Board ( email )

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Washington, DC 20551
United States

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