NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Are the World's Poorest Being Left Behind?

Martin Ravallion

NBER Working Paper No. 20791
Issued in December 2014
NBER Program(s):   DEV

The traditional approach to poverty measurement puts no explicit weight on success at increasing the typical level of living of the poorest—raising the consumption floor. To address this deficiency, the paper defines and measures the expected value of the floor, allowing for transient effects and measurement errors in survey data. On using all suitable and available surveys for the developing world over 1981-2011, the expected value of the floor is about half the $1.25 a day poverty line. There has been only modest progress in raising the floor, despite much progress in reducing the number living near the floor.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20791

Published: Martin Ravallion, 2016. "Are the world’s poorest being left behind?," Journal of Economic Growth, vol 21(2), pages 139-164. citation courtesy of

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