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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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The Debate on Globalization, Poverty, and Inequality: Why Measurement Matters 1

The Debate on Globalization, Poverty, and Inequality: Why Measurement Matters 1

(p.25) 2 The Debate on Globalization, Poverty, and Inequality: Why Measurement Matters1
Debates on the Measurement of Global Poverty

Martin Ravallion

Oxford University Press

Markedly different claims have been heard within the development community about how much progress is being made against poverty and inequality in the current period of globalization. This chapter provides a nontechnical overview of the conceptual and methodological issues underlying these conflicting claims. It argues that the dramatically differing positions taken in this debate often stem from differences in the concepts and definitions used, and differences in data sources and measurement assumptions. These differences are often hidden from view in the debate, but they need to be considered carefully if one is to properly interpret the evidence. The best available evidence suggests that if the rate of progress against absolute poverty in the developing world in the 1990s is maintained, then the Millennium Development Goal of halving the 1990 aggregate poverty rate by 2015 will be achieved on time in the aggregate, though not in all regions. The chapter concludes with some observations on the implications for the more policy-oriented debates on globalization and pro-poor growth.

Keywords:   global poverty, inequality, Millennium Development Goals, data sources, pro-poor growth

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