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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 Decline in India in the 1990s: A Reality and Not an Artifact

Poverty Decline in India in the 1990s: A Reality and Not an Artifact

(p.341) 14 Poverty Decline in India in the 1990s: A Reality and Not an Artifact
Debates on the Measurement of Global Poverty

K. Sundaram

Suresh D. Tendulkar

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses the problems of comparability of the size distributions from the NSS 50th (1993–4) and the 55th (1999–2000) rounds of Consumer Expenditure Surveys (CES) arising from the use of a mixed reference period (MRP) in the latter survey, as opposed to the uniform reference period used in the 50th round, and from the canvassing of consumer expenditure on food items on two recall periods (7 days and 30 days) from the same set of households. These are resolved by an analysis of unit-level records of the 50th round CES to generate comparable estimates on MRP and of the 55th round employment–unemployment survey (EUS) to settle the 7-day/30-day problem. Generating comparable estimates on five measures of poverty, it is shown that in the 1990s poverty declined in both rural India and in the country as a whole on all five measures, while in urban India it declined on all measures of poverty except the number of urban poor. An analysis of the 61st round (2004–5) CES points to a slowdown in the pace of poverty reduction in rural areas and a worsening of poverty in urban areas between 2000 and 2005.

Keywords:   uniform reference period, mixed reference periods, consumer expenditure surveys, employment–unemployment survey, urban India

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