$1.90 Per Day: What Does it Say?

33 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2015 Last revised: 10 Mar 2016

See all articles by Sanjay G. Reddy

Sanjay G. Reddy

The New School - Department of Economics

Rahul Lahoti

University of Goettingen (Göttingen); Azim Premji University

Date Written: October 27, 2015


The World Bank’s global poverty estimates suffer from deep-seated problems arising from a single source, the lack of a standard for identifying who is poor and who is not that is consistent and meaningful. The new choice of an international poverty line of $1.90 (2011 PPP) does not in any way resolve these problems. We present alternate estimates of global, regional and national poverty based on reasoning as to what the Bank’s own method, consistently applied, would entail. These show an increase in the absolute number of poor since 1980 or 1990 for certain choices of poverty line. However, we recommend an approach to income poverty assessment that is altogether different, focusing directly on identifying the real requirements of human beings to attain income-dependent human capabilities.

Keywords: global poverty, world bank, international poverty line, capability

JEL Classification: D30, D31, D63, D60, I32, I30, O10, O50

Suggested Citation

Reddy, Sanjay G. and Lahoti, Rahul, $1.90 Per Day: What Does it Say? (October 27, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685096 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2685096

Sanjay G. Reddy

The New School - Department of Economics ( email )

Room 1116
6 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

Rahul Lahoti (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073

Azim Premji University ( email )

PESIT South campus
Electronic City phase-I
Bangalore, 560100

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