Introduction: Debates on the Measurement of Global Poverty

Anand, Sudhir; Segal, Paul; Stiglitz, Joseph E.

Global poverty is higher on the public agenda than ever before. While it has always been a central concern of development economists and professionals, it has never before been studied so intensively, and has never been as prominent in the public consciousness as it has become over the last few years. This new focus is due in part to the commitment of the international community to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—the first of which is to halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty. It is due also to substantial progress in the collection and analysis of data. While we can now say much more about global poverty than in the past, considerable controversy has developed about how to analyze and interpret the data, and what they tell us about the magnitude and rate of change of global poverty.



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April 11, 2011