Research

The Emperor's New Suit

July 8, 2009

The recent revision of the World Bank’s global poverty estimates based on a new $1.25 (2005 PPP) poverty line underlines their unreliability and lack of meaningfulness.

It is very difficult to justify various aspects of the Bank’s approach. In the short term, less weight should be given to the Bank’s poverty estimates in monitoring the first MDG. In the longer term, a solution to the observed problems requires adopting an altogether different method. Such an alternative exists but requires global institutional coordination. Until it is implemented, the crisis in the monitoring of global consumption poverty can be expected to intensify.

Authors: Sanjay Reddy
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