Poverty Counts: The Future of Global Poverty Monitoring at the World Bank
April 10, 2017Inclusion and Shared Prosperity

Historically, the World Bank has measured global extreme poverty using a single poverty line, currently set at $1.90, and reported a single point estimate of poverty, most recently estimated to be 10.7 percent of the global population in 2013. In the context of the World Bank’s goal to help bring an end to extreme poverty by 2030, the focus on a single poverty line and point estimate has been reasonable. But recommendations from the Atkinson Commission on Global Poverty have spurred a collaborative effort of the research and data groups within DEC and the Poverty Global Practice to be more ambitious and expansive in our approach to measuring global poverty.

In this talk, Dean Jolliffe will first review how the World Bank monitors progress towards the extreme poverty goal, including an explanation of how the $1.90 international poverty line was established and the role of purchasing power parity indices. He will then discuss some of the supplemental poverty measures that will be monitored in addition to the measure of extreme poverty, including the introduction of “income-class” poverty lines, multi-dimensional poverty indices, and a “global societal poverty line” (i.e. a weakly relative line).

The presentation will conclude with a discussion of the Atkinson recommendation to report estimates of total error to enhance the informational content of the poverty point estimate. Jolliffe will provide examples of research on survey methodology being carried out by the LSMS team that help point the way towards improved data quality and comparability. This research can also provide some of the required building blocks to better understand the probable bounds of our poverty point estimates. 

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    Dean Jolliffe, Senior Economist, Development Research Group

    Dean Jolliffe is a Senior Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank and a member of the LSMS-ISA team. He has extensive experience in the design and implementation of household surveys and is currently managing ongoing LSMS-ISA work in Ethiopia. He has also worked in the South Asia region at the Bank on poverty assessments for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.
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    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research Department

    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Director of Research in the World Bank. After joining the Bank in 1989 as a Young Economist, she has held different positions, including Director of Development Policy, Chief Economist of Financial and Private Sector Development Network, and Senior Research Manager, doing research and advising on financial sector and private sector development issues.
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    Carolina Sanchez, Senior Director, Poverty and Equity Global Practice

    Carolina Sanchez, a Spanish national, is currently the Senior Director of the Poverty and Equity Global Practice (GP) at the World Bank. Prior to this assignment, she was the Poverty and Equity GP Practice Manager in the Europe and Central Asia region. Carolina has worked on operations, policy advice and analytical activities in Eastern Europe, Latin America and South Asia, and was part of the core team working on the WDR2012, “Gender Equality and Development”.

The Policy Research Talks showcase the latest findings of the research department and their implications for World Bank operations. The goal of the monthly event is to facilitate a dialogue between researchers and operational staff, so that we can challenge and contribute to the World Bank's intellectual climate and re-examine conventional wisdom in current development theories and practices.  Read More »

Event Details
  • Time: 12:30 – 2:00 PM, April 10, 2017
  • Location: MC 2-800, World Bank Main Complex
  • CONTACT: Tourya Tourougui