Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity



Cover of Working Paper 487
July 2, 2018

The Rise of the Robot Reserve Army: Automation and the Future of Economic Development, Work, and Wages in Developing Countries - Working Paper 487

Emerging economies face a contemporary challenge to traditional pathways to employment generation: automation, digitalization, and labor-saving technologies. 1.8 billion jobs—or two-thirds of the current labor force of developing countries—are estimated to be susceptible to automation from today’s technological standpoint.

August 4, 2014

How Has the Developing World Changed since the Late 1990s? A Dynamic and Multidimensional Taxonomy of Developing Countries - Working Paper 375

Many existing classifications of developing countries are dominated by income per capita (such as the World Bank’s low, middle and high income thresholds), thus neglecting the multidimensionality of the concept of ‘development’. Even those deemed to be the main ‘alternatives’ to the income-based classification have income per capita heavily weighted within a composite indicator.

June 4, 2013

The Future of Global Poverty in a Multi-Speed World: New Estimates of Scale and Location, 2010–2030 - Working Paper 327

In this working paper, Peter Edward and Andy Sumner introduce new model of growth, inequality, and poverty that comparison of a wide range of input assumptions. They find that it is plausible that $1.25 and $2 global poverty will reduce substantially by 2030 and the former – $1.25 poverty – could be very low by that time. However, this depends a lot on economic growth and inequality trends—up to almost an extra billion $2 poor people in one scenario.

Peter Edward and Andy Sumner
January 6, 2012

Global Health and the New Bottom Billion: How Funders Should Respond to Shifts in Global Poverty and Disease Burden

After a decade of rapid economic growth, many developing countries have attained middle-income status, but poverty reduction in these countries has not kept pace with economic growth. Most of the world’s poor—up to a billion people—now live in these new middle-income countries. These countries also carry the majority of the global disease burden.

Amanda Glassman , Denizhan Duran and Andy Sumner
October 27, 2011

Global Health and the New Bottom Billion: What Do Shifts in Global Poverty and the Global Disease Burden Mean for GAVI and the Global Fund? - Working Paper 270

After a decade of rapid growth in average incomes, many countries have attained middle-income country (MIC) status, while poverty hasn’t fallen as much as one might expect. As a result, there are up to a billion poor people or a ‘new bottom billion’ living not in the world’s poorest countries but in MIC. Not only has the global distribution of poverty shifted to MIC, so has the global disease burden. The paper describes trends in the global distribution of poverty, preventable infectious diseases, and health aid response to date and proposes a new MIC strategy and components, concluding with recommendations.

Amanda Glassman , Denizhan Duran and Andy Sumner
March 18, 2011

The New Bottom Billion: What If Most of the World's Poor Live in Middle-Income Countries?

Most of the world’s poor no longer live in low-income countries. An estimated 960 million poor people—a new bottom billion—live in middle-income countries, a result of the graduation of several populous countries from low-income status. That is good news, but it has repercussions. Donors will have to change the way they think about poverty alleviation. They should design development aid to benefit poor people, not just poor countries, keep supporting middle-income countries, think beyond traditional aid to craft coherent development policies, and work to help create space for more inclusive policy processes in new and old MICs.