Poverty and Inequality

June 5, 2019

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.

  • Image

    Alternative Paths to Public Financial Management and Public Sector Reform: Experiences from East Asia

    June 2018
    The eight case studies from East Asia point to a combination of three factors especially important to achieve substantive change in the public sector: (1) A design that enables a more orderly progress without overburdening those responsible for implementing reform, (2) ongoing political support and nurturing, and (3) adequate implementation capability to adapt and adjust.
  • Image

    Inequality as Cholesterol: Attempting to Quantify Inequality of Opportunity

    January 2019
    Is all economic inequality bad? Is zero the optimal amount of income inequality? Or, like cholesterol, might there be better and worse forms of inequality? In this talk, World Bank Senior Adviser Francisco Ferreira discussed how the concept of inequality of opportunity is used by economists. He briefly reviewed the underpinnings and philosophical roots of the theory, provided some empirical illustrations, and then presented (some of the) formal economic approaches to the measurement of inequality of opportunity – both for income and education. Limitations and recent attempts to overcome them will also be discussed.
  • Image

    Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2018: Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle

    October 2018
    The 2018 edition — Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle —broadens the ways we define and measure poverty. It presents a new measure of societal poverty, integrating the absolute concept of extreme poverty and a notion of relative poverty reflecting differences in needs across countries. It introduces a multi-dimensional poverty measure that is anchored on household consumption and the international poverty line of $1.90 per person per day but broadens the measure by including information on access to education and basic infrastructure. Finally, it investigates differences in poverty within households, including by age and gender. 
  • Image

    A New Look at the Factors Driving Investment Project Performance

    September 2018
    In this talk economist Jed Friedman highlighted results from an ongoing assessment of World Bank Investment Project Financing in order to draw out lessons for the management of quality.
  • Image

    Asylum Seekers in the European Union: Building Evidence to Inform Policy Making

    July 2018
    In 2015 and 2016, migrant flows into the EU surged, with Greece and Italy the main entry points. Many of the migrants applied for international protection in Europe, becoming asylum seekers. This spike in EU asylum seekers, as well as the increasing numbers of those granted refugee status, brought a need for information on who they are—their sociodemographic characteristics; their education and work experience; their experience on the journey to Italy and Greece; and what it cost them not only financially but also physically and emotionally to get there.
  • 21st Century Social Compact

    Intergenerational Mobility around the World

    May 2018
    In this talk economist Roy van der Weide presented global trends and patterns in economic mobility from the new Global Database on Intergenerational Mobility (GDIM). The GDIM has unprecedented coverage: This is the first time we have empirical evidence on mobility for almost 150 countries representative of 96 percent of the world’s population.
  • Image

    Oral Democracy: Deliberation in Rural India

    Paromita Sanyal and Vijayendra Rao, Cambridge University Press, December 2018
    This book sheds light on how real-world deliberation works in poor and unequal settings. It is an analysis of discourse within the largest deliberative institution in human history—the gram sabha (village meeting) in rural India, which affects the lives of 800 million people living in two million villages.

Working Papers


Quy-Toan Do
Senior Economist

Francisco Ferreira
Senior Advisor

Jed Friedman
Senior Economist

Emanuela Galasso
Senior Economist

Eeshani Kandpal

Christoph Lakner

Berk Ozler
Lead Economist

Vijayendra Rao
Lead Economist

Prem Sangraula

Roy van der Weide
Senior Economist

Michael Woolcock
Lead Social Scientist



PovcalNet: Poverty Monitoring Tool

Seminar Series

Development Research Group

Development Impact Blog