Methodologies for assessing world poverty - United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia


Methodologies for assessing world poverty

ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/CL2.GPID/2023/TP.15

Country: Global

Publication Type: Information material

Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development

Focus Area: Inclusive development, Population dynamics & migration

Initiatives: Addressing multidimensional poverty

SDGs: Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 12: Responsible Production and Consumption, Goal 13: Climate Action

Keywords: Poverty, Poverty mitigation, Income distribution, Households, Economic growth, Statistical methodology, Arab countries, Asia and the pacific, Europe, North america, Latin america and the caribbean, Africa south of sahara

Methodologies for assessing world poverty

September 2023

The present paper describes the main methodology for poverty estimates included in the forthcoming world poverty report. It describes techniques applied in projections of the levels and trends of income poverty across all world regions, using poverty definitions that are closer to national definitions, yet are internationally and intertemporally comparable. This is achieved by identifying quasi-relative national poverty lines based on Engel’s law with strong axiomatic properties. The paper observes that the level of economic growth in most world regions has not strongly favoured poverty reduction, and even the observed national growth does not trickle down to household incomes one-for-one, typically falling short of perfect trickledown depending on the country context.

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