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How Many Poor People Should There Be? A Rejoinder to Ravallion

Pogge, Thomas

Greatly boosting the political importance of the $1/day poverty headcount statistics the World Bank had been supplying since 1990, the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG) then promised "to halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world's people whose income is less than one dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger." The UN and its MDG administrators have since decided that this proportion is to be calculated as a percentage not of world population but of the faster-growing population of the less developed countries, and that the benchmark year for this and all MDGs should be not the year of their adoption (2000), but 1990. The fate of billions is gravely affected by these as well as by additional decisions about how the relevant calculations are performed by the World Bank. It is in this context that Sanjay Reddy and I have joined the poverty measurement debate.

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Academic Units
Initiative for Policy Dialogue
Publisher
Initiative for Policy Dialogue
Series
Initiative for Policy Dialogue Working Paper Series
Published Here
April 11, 2011
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