NBER Publications by Martin Ravallion

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

Working Papers and Chapters

July 2014An Exploration of the International Comparison Program’s New Global Economic Landscape
The Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rates from the 2011 round of the International Comparison Program (ICP) imply some dramatic revisions to price levels and real incomes across the world. The paper tries to understand these changes. Domestic inflation rates account for a share of the PPP changes, although less so for the 2011 revisions than prior ICP rounds. A marked downward drift in ICP price levels for developing countries also emerged in 2011. Conditional on domestic price changes, the co-movement of PPPs with market exchange rates suggests that that the ICP puts higher weight on more internationally comparable traded-goods than do domestic indices. There is also evidence of a Dynamic Penn Effect, whereby economic growth comes with higher prices. The drift is concentrated in the Asia re...
July 2013The Idea of Antipoverty Policy
How did we come to think that eliminating poverty is a legitimate goal for public policy? What types of policies have emerged in the hope of attaining that goal? The last 200 years have witnessed a dramatic change in thinking about poverty. Mainstream economic thinking in the 18th century held that poverty was necessary and even desirable for a country’s economic success. Today, poverty is more often viewed as a constraint on that success. In short, poverty switched from being seen as a social good to a social bad. This change in thinking, and the accompanying progress in knowledge, has greatly influenced public action, with heightened emphasis on the role of antipoverty policy in sustainable promotion from poverty, as well as protection. Development strategies today typically strive for a...
May 2013Trade Insulation as Social Protection
with Quy-Toan Do, Andrei A. Levchenko
in The Economics of Food Price Volatility, Jean-Paul Chavas, David Hummels, and Brian Wright
In a world with volatile food prices, countries have an incentive to shelter their populations from the induced real income shocks. When some agents are net food producers while others are net consumers, there is scope for insurance between the two groups. A domestic social protection scheme could transfer resources away from the former group to the latter in times of high food prices, and do the reverse otherwise. We show that in the presence of consumer preference heterogeneity, implementing the optimal social protection policy can potentially induce higher food price volatility. Such a policy indeed generates a counter-cyclical demand shock that amplifies the effects of the underlying food shortage.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us