Toward Better Global Poverty Measures - Working Paper 417

September 16, 2015
Global poverty measures are important to public knowledge about the world as a whole, and they help inform the work of development agencies, including in setting targets for overall progress.

While much progress has been made over the last 25 years in measuring global poverty, there are a number of challenges ahead. The paper discusses three sets of problems: (i) how to allow for social effects on welfare, recognizing the identification issues involved; (ii) the need to monitor progress in raising the consumption floor above its biological level, in addition to counting the number of people living near the floor; and (iii) addressing the longstanding concerns about prevailing approaches to making inter-country comparisons of price levels facing poor people. Some suggestions are offered for operational solutions, building on past research.

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