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A Special IARIW-World Bank Conference: New Approaches to Defining and Measuring Poverty in a Growing World

November 7-8, 2019

Convene, 600 14th Street, NW, Washington DC 20005, USA


Reducing extreme poverty has for decades been a cornerstone of international economic development, as evidenced by this objective being at the forefront of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and now the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The World Bank, which reports on progress in reducing poverty for the MDGs and SDGs, estimates that in 2015, 736 million people lived in extreme poverty (defined as living on less than $1.90 per person per day in 2011 PPP terms). Despite this large count of people who live in extreme poverty, the proportion of the population that is living in extreme poverty has fallen from more than 35 percent in 1990, to 10 percent in 2015. Extreme poverty as measured by the international poverty line is less than 3 percent in more than half the countries of the world. As the global proportion of people in extreme poverty declines further, this definition of global poverty may become increasingly less important as countries and development organizations define poverty in more socially relevant and useful ways for policy makers.

The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW), established in 1947, organizes conferences on topics related to income and wealth throughout the world, generally in partnership with national statistical offices. In addition to its biennial General Conference, the IARIW also organizes special or regional conferences in non-General Conference years. In 2019, the IARIW in partnership with the World Bank will be hosting a special conference on the measurement of poverty and well-being in Washington, DC November 7-8, 2019. 

The conference organizers gratefully acknowledge financial support from the UK Government which helped to partially cover the costs associated with holding this conference. The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed in this conference are entirely those of authors and speakers.




  • Organizers

    Dean Jolliffe, The World Bank

    Andrew Sharpe, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW)


    Contact Muhammad Malik at

  • Please find the conference programme using the following weblink

  • Keynote Speaker

    Martin Ravallion holds the inaugural Edmond D. Villani Chair of Economics at Georgetown University. Prior to joining Georgetown in 2013 he was Director of the World Bank’s research department, the Development Research Group.

    Martin joined the World Bank in 1988 and worked in almost all sectors and all regions over the following 24 years. Prior to joining the Bank, he was on the faculty of the Australian National University. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics, and (in addition to Georgetown) he has taught economics at L.S.E., Oxford University, the Australian National University, Princeton University and the Paris School of Economics.

    Martin’s main research interests over the last 30 years have concerned poverty and policies for fighting it. He has advised numerous governments and international agencies on this topic, and he has written extensively on this and other subjects in economics, including six books and 250 papers in scholarly journals and edited volumes. His latest book, ''The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement and Policy,'' was published by Oxford University Press in January 2016. A website for the book with supporting material (including teaching aids) is found at

    Martin is the ex-President of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Non-Resident Fellow of the Center for Global Development and a Senior Fellow of the Bureau for Research in Economic Analysis of Development. Among various prizes and awards, in 2012 he was awarded the John Kenneth Galbraith Prize from the American Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, in 2016 he received a Frontiers of Knowledge Award from the BBVA Foundation, Madrid, and in 2018, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Economics by the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

    Simeon Djankov, Director of Development Economics, was deputy prime minister and minister of finance of Bulgaria from 2009 to 2013.

    Prior to his cabinet appointment, Djankov was chief economist of the finance and private sector vice presidency of the World Bank. In his 15 years at the Bank, he has worked on regional trade agreements in North Africa, enterprise restructuring and privatization in transition economies, corporate governance in East Asia, and regulatory reforms around the world.

    He is the founder of the World Bank's Doing Business project. He is the author of Inside the Euro Crisis: An Eyewitness Account (2014) and principal author of the World Development Report 2002. He is also coeditor of The Great Rebirth: Lessons from the Victory of Capitalism over Communism (2014) and Europe’s Growth Challenge (2017).

    Djankov was previously director of the Financial Markets Group at the London School­­ of Economics, rector of the New Economic School in Russia and a visiting lecturer at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. He was chairman of the Board of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in 2012–13. He obtained his doctorate in economics in 1997 from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

  • Location of venue

    The conference will be held at the Convene, located at 600 14th Street, NW, Washington DC 20005, USA.

    Nearby hotels* 

    1. Washington Marriott
      775 12th Street Northwest, Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20005 
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 7 min)
    2. The Architect
      1025 15th Street NW, Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20001 
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 11 min)
    3. Capital Hilton
      1001 16th Street Northwest, Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20036 20001 
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 11 min)
    4. Club Quarters Hotel 
      839 17th Street, NW, Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20006 
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 12 min)
    5. Embassy Suites
      900 10th Street Northwest, Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20001 
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 10 min)
    6. Renaissance 
      999 Ninth Street Northwest, Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20001
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 12 min
    7. Washington Plaza Hotel
      10 Thomas Circle Northwest, Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20005 
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 14 min)
    8. Courtyard by Marriott 
      515 20th Street NW, Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20052 
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 19 min)
    9. Beacon Hotel & Corporate Quarters 
      1615 Rhode Island Avenue N.W., Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20036 
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 20 min)
    10. National at Penn Quarter
      420 8th Street Northwest, Northwest, Washington, D.C., DC 20004 20036 
      (Walking distance to the conference venue - 13 min)

    *Disclaimer: Neither the World Bank nor the IARIW endorses any of the hotels in the list above. 

Event Details

  • Date: November 7-8, 2019
  • Location: Convene, 600 14th Street, NW, Washington DC 20005, USA