Poverty and Inequality

March 1, 2023

The Poverty and Inequality Research Program has two main objectives: (1) improve current data as well as methods and tools for poverty and inequality analysis and (2) use the improved data and existing data sources to better understand the economic and social processes determining the extent of poverty and inequality and to assess the effectiveness of specific policies in reducing poverty.

  • Collage of images related to the World Development Report 2023

    World Development Report 2023: Migrants, Refugees, and Societies

    Mobility is an integral part of the development process. It is a mechanism for reallocating labor across economic sectors and geographical areas. It enables adaptation to shocks, stresses, and imbalances. Cross-border mobility inevitably comes with economic and social consequences for those who move, their communities of origin, and their destinations. The World Development Report (WDR) is taking a fresh look at these issues. It aims to shift from a narrow focus on labor markets for migrants and legal protection for refugees to a more holistic perspective — one that recognizes the humanity of migrants and the complexity of the societies of origin and destination.
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    New Mediums, Better Messages? How Innovations in Translation, Engagement and Advocacy are Changing International Development

    June 2022
    As international development has become more quantitative and economics-centred, there is an enduring sense that what is measured (and thus 'valued' and prioritized) may have become too narrow. This book explores popular representations of international development and opens a unique conversation between development and the arts. It brings together a team of multidisciplinary contributors to explore popular representions of development, including music, blogs, and fiction.
  • Cover of the Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work? report

    Improving Effective Coverage in Health: Do Financial Incentives Work?

    May 2022
    In many low- and middle-income countries, health coverage has improved dramatically in the past two decades, but health outcomes have not. In this talk, report lead authors Damien de Walque and Eeshani Kandpal review evidence on the impacts of PBF on health service delivery spanning fifteen years and nearly forty countries with a particular emphasis on the quality of service delivery.
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    Out of the Shadows: The Impact of Amnesties on the Lives of Migrants

    February 2022
    In this Policy Research Talk, Sandra Rozo discusses her joint work with Ana María Ibáñez and Andrés Moya on the causal effects of a regularization program offered by the Colombian government to nearly half a million Venezuelan refugees in 2018. Their analysis centers on understanding the effects of regularization on refugees’ well-being broadly defined, including income, consumption, mental and physical health, and access to employment.
  • A Laboratory technician at a hospital. Photo: © Tariq siddiq Kohistani/Shutterstock

    COVID-19: Costs, Consequences, and Urgent Choices

    Research Newsletter, July 2021
    This COVID-19 newsletter focuses on the costs, consequences, and urgent choices as COVID-19 continues to devastate lives and livelihoods. It includes research on the costs of the pandemic, the efficacy of government responses, and the promise of vaccines to slow and eventually halt the pandemic.
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    Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2020: Reversals of Fortune

    October 2020
    The report presents new estimates of COVID-19’s impacts on global poverty and inequality. Harnessing fresh data from frontline surveys and economic simulations, it shows that pandemic-related job losses and deprivation worldwide are hitting already-poor and vulnerable people hard, while also partly changing the profile of global poverty by creating millions of “new poor.” Furthermore, the report breaks ground by jointly analyzing three factors whose convergence is driving the current crisis and will extend its impact into the future: the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflict, and climate change.
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    Violence without Borders: The Internationalization of Crime and Conflict

    June 2020
    This Policy Research Report documents how permeable country borders have become in many different domains, and the troubling human and economic costs as the geographical spillovers of conflict and crime and political instability have intensified. The report suggests international institutions can play a critical role in stabilizing domestic fragility by moving settlement of disputes away from battlefields and toward global platforms.


The Electoral Consequences of Easing the Integration of Forced Migrants
Sandra V. Rozo, Alejandra Quintana, María José Urbina
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10342, March 2023

The Prices in the Crises: What We Are Learning from Twenty Years of Health Insurance in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
Jishnu Das, Quy-Toan Do
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10313, February 2023

Least Protected, Most Affected: Impacts of Migration Regularization Programs on Pandemic Resilience
Maria José Urbina, Sandra V. Rozo, Andrés Moya, Ana María Ibáñez
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10291, February 2023

Outcomes for Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees in Low and Middle-Income Countries
Kirsten Schuettler, Quy-Toan Do
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10278, January 2023

Asset Transfers and Anti-Poverty Programs: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania
Sarah Jane Baird, Craig Mcintosh, Berk Ozler, Utz Johann Pape
World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 10251, December 2022

More Working Papers


Taxation, accountability, and cash transfers: Breaking the resource curse
Shantayanan Devarajan, Quy-Toan Do
Journal of Public Economics, vol. 218, February 2023 | Working Paper Version

A Puzzle with Missing Pieces: Explaining the Effectiveness of World Bank Development Projects
Louise Ashton, Jed Friedman, Diana Goldemberg, Mustafa Zakir Hussain, Thomas Kenyon, Akib Khan, Mo Zhou
The World Bank Research Observer vol. 38, Issue 1, February 2023 | Working Paper Version

Discrimination toward migrants during crises
Marisol Rodríguez ChatrucSandra Viviana Rozo
Migration Studies, vol. 10, issue 4, December 2022 | Working Paper Version

Who opposes refugees? Swedish demographics and attitudes towards forcibly displaced populations
Sandra Rozo, María José Urbina
Oxford Review of Economic Policy vol. 38, Issue 3, September 2022 

Unambiguous Trends Combining Absolute and Relative Income Poverty: New Results and Global Application
Benoit Decerf, Mery Ferrando
The World Bank Economic Review vol. 36, Issue 3, August 2022


Taking care: The impacts and limitations of financial incentives in health
Damien de Walque, Eeshani Kandpal, Yahe Li | Let’s Talk Development | February 15, 2023

Reducing the environmental (and animal welfare) effects of what we eat: improving lab experiments with virtual reality supermarkets
Berk Özler
 | Development Impact | February 15, 2023

Bundled interventions for sustained poverty reduction: they won’t work without profitable investments…
Berk Özler
 | Development Impact | January 23, 2023

Remembering Martin Ravallion
Berk Özler
, David McKenzie | Development Impact | January 4, 2023

Summing up our job market blog series 2022
David McKenzie, Florence Kondylis, Berk Özler, Kathleen Beegle | Development Impact | December 9, 2022

Half of the global population lives on less than US$6.85 per person per day
Marta Schoch, Samuel Kofi Tetteh Baah, Christoph Lakner, Jed Friedman | Let's Talk Development | December 8, 2022

Estimates of global poverty from WWII to the fall of the Berlin Wall
Nishant Yonzan, Jed Friedman, Ruth Hill, Dean Mitchell Jolliffe, Christoph Lakner, Daniel Gerszon Mahler | Data Blog | November 23, 2022

A game of musical chairs or something to care about? Marriage market effects of interventions
Berk Özler 
| Development Impact | October 24, 2022


Katy Ann Bergstrom

Benoit Decerf
Research Economist

Quy-Toan Do
Lead Economist

Jed Friedman
Lead Economist

Emanuela Galasso
Senior Economist

Eeshani Kandpal
Senior Economist

Berk Ozler
Lead Economist | Manager

Vijayendra Rao
Lead Economist

Sandra Rozo
Research Economist

Roy van der Weide
Senior Economist

Michael Woolcock
Lead Social Scientist



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