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Debates on the Measurement of Global Poverty$
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Sudhir Anand, Paul Segal, and Joseph E. Stiglitz

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199558032

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558032.001.0001

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Poverty or Income Distribution: Which Do We Want to Measure? 1

Poverty or Income Distribution: Which Do We Want to Measure? 1

(p.225) 8 Poverty or Income Distribution: Which Do We Want to Measure?1
Debates on the Measurement of Global Poverty

Robert Johnston

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares concepts of poverty and deprivation used in the pioneering slum surveys in London in the late nineteenth century with income and consumption concepts today. These are found to be rather similar and better suited to measurement of the poor and very poor than income distribution measures. The close apparent relation between these concepts and the World Bank's international $1.25/day poverty line led to the adoption of the Bank's method for measuring progress in reducing poverty in the first Millennium Development Goal. Concepts and methods in national accounting and household surveys have proven reasonably satisfactory for this purpose but are still only partially implemented in developing regions, and have yielded limited insights on desirable and successful anti-poverty policies.

Keywords:   poverty line, income distribution measures, slum surveys, anti-poverty policies

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