Arnold Kling

Measuring Global Poverty

Arnold Kling, Great Questions of Economics
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The Institute for International Economics has published a book by Surjit Bhalla called Imagine There's No Country, which looks at globalization and poverty. Of particular interest is this chapter, which tracks the reduction in poverty in the past fifty years. He finds that the global poverty rate, using a poverty line of $1.08 per day of income (a World Bank standard), has fallen from over 58 percent to just over 11 percent.

It is tempting to conclude that declining poverty in the world is really about declines in China and India...It is true that the 1980-2000 globalization period bypassed poor people in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa...Asia saw more than a billion people rise out of poverty in just 20 years--a miracle.

Discussion Question. What accounts for the relative success of China and India?

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