Global Poverty Estimates: Present and Future

30 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2010 Last revised: 19 Aug 2014

See all articles by Shatakshee Dhongde

Shatakshee Dhongde

Georgia Institute of Technology

Camelia Minoiu

Federal Reserve Board

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Date Written: August 9, 2010


We review the recent empirical literature on global poverty, focusing on key methodological aspects. These include the choice of welfare indicator, poverty line and purchasing power parity exchange rates, equivalence scales, data sources, and estimation methods. We also discuss the importance of the intra-household resource allocation process in determining within-household inequalities and potentially influencing poverty estimates. Based on a sensitivity analysis of global poverty estimates to different methodological approaches, we show that existing figures vary markedly with the choice of data source for mean income or consumption used to scale relative distributions; and with the statistical method used to estimate income distributions from tabulated data.

Keywords: global poverty, household surveys, national accounts, tabulated data

JEL Classification: I31, I32, O1

Suggested Citation

Dhongde, Shatakshee and Minoiu, Camelia, Global Poverty Estimates: Present and Future (August 9, 2010). Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper No. 133. Available at SSRN: or

Shatakshee Dhongde

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

Camelia Minoiu (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Board ( email )

20th Street and Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States

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