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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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Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World) 1

Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World) 1

Chapter:
(p.187) 7 Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)1
Source:
Debates on the Measurement of Global Poverty
Author(s):

Angus Deaton (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199558032.003.0009

The extent to which growth reduces global poverty has been disputed for several decades. Although there are better data than ever before, controversies are not resolved. A major problem is that consumption measured from household surveys, which is used to measure poverty, grows less rapidly than consumption measured in national accounts, in the world as a whole and in large countries, particularly India, China, and the United States. As a consequence, measured poverty has fallen less rapidly than appears warranted by measured growth in poor countries. One plausible cause is that richer households are less likely to participate in surveys. But growth in the national accounts is also upward biased, and consumption in the national accounts contains large and rapidly growing items that are not consumed by the poor and not included in surveys. So it is possible for consumption of the poor to grow less rapidly than national consumption, without any increase in measured inequality. Current statistical procedures in poor countries understate the rate of global poverty reduction and overstate growth in the world.

Keywords:   global poverty, household surveys, national accounts, household consumption

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