The Bank is the leading producer of data on poverty and inequality in the developing and transition economies. These data range from household survey data to compilations of summary statistics drawn from these data.
The DECRG Poverty Group has a central role in this work, as the institutional home of both the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) and its Global Poverty and Inequality Database (GPID).
Living Standards Measurement Study - Household Surveys (LSMS)
Household surveys produced under the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) have been used to measure poverty in individual countries and to study the linkages between poverty and human capital, access and use of public services and earning activities, amongst other things. The value added of the LSMS surveys is that they allow researchers to link welfare indictors with a wide range of other economic and social indicators. The LSMS has also become a model for many “non-LSMS” surveys.
Global Poverty and Inequality Database (GPID)
The GPID is the sole source of the Bank’s global poverty estimates including the widely cited estimates of the number of people living below $1 and $2 per day. GPID is also the principal source for recent cross-country compilations of inequality data. The estimates of poverty and inequality measures made by DECRG staff from GPID feed into the World Development Indicators, various World Development Reports, PREM’s reports to the Board on Progress in Poverty Reduction and the Global Economic Prospects Reports. The underlying country-level data set is also used as the source of poverty and inequality measures for research and other purposes inside and outside the Bank.
This component of the Research Program aims to assure that the Bank’s data and tools for these purposes remain the best available. There are four sub-components:
1. Data Comparability and Accessibility
One subcomponent addresses the key issue of data comparability and accessibility by re-building from scratch a set of consumption and income distributions for developing and transition economies as well as other social sector outcome indicators that will be more comparable than ever before. This will be done in the form of a user-friendly interactive data base that will greatly enhance accessibility to the micro data. For further details, see the sub-topic, "Comparative Living Standards Project (CLSP)."
2. Poverty Measurement
The second subcomponent focuses on poverty measurement using such data. One aim will be to bring consumption and income measures into better alignment. Another will be to explore new approaches to poverty measurement in which considerations of relative poverty and subjective well-being are brought into the analysis explicitly.
3. Linking Existing Data Sources
The third subcomponent expands the poverty data available by showing how existing data sources can be linked. Amongst other applications, this will allow the construction of much more detailed poverty maps than have previosuly been possible.
4. Using New Data and Methodological Tools
The final subcomponent takes advantage of the new data generated from the preceding subcomponents as well as new methodological tools to advance our knowledge of policy and program impacts on poverty and inequality.
The Policy Research Working Papers below (1993-2013) are drawn from the World Bank's institutional archives. You can search the working paper collection here using the author's last name, title, or working paper number ("wpsxxxx").
You can also download other related documents. These include content-rich current outputs (updated document versions, miscellaneous documents, and web pages).
|WPS6446||Conducting ethical economic research: complications from the field||Alderman, Harold; Das, Jishnu; Rao, Vijayendra||2013/05|
|WPS6259||Global income inequality by the numbers : in history and now --an overview--||Milanovic, Branko||2012/11|
|WPS5878||Average and marginal returns to upper secondary schooling in Indonesia||Carneiro, Pedro; Lokshin, Michael; Ridao-Cano, Cristobal; Umapathi, Nithin||2011/11|
|WPS5873||The measurement of educational inequality : achievement and opportunity||Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Gignoux, Jeremie||2011/11|
|WPS5812||Family planning and fertility : estimating program effects using cross-sectional data||Portner, Claus C ; Beegle, Kathleen; Christiaensen, Luc||2011/09|
|WPS5414||Explaining variation in child labor statistics||Dillon, Andrew; Bardasi, Elena; Beegle, Kathleen; Serneels, Pieter||2010/09|
|WPS5405||Economic freedom, human rights, and the returns to human capital : an evaluation of the Schultz hypothesis||King, Elizabeth M.; Montenegro, Claudio E.; Orazem, Peter F.||2010/08|
|WPS5337||Revisiting between-group inequality measurement : an application to the dynamics of caste inequality in two Indian villages||Lanjouw, Peter; Rao, Vijayendra||2010/06|
|WPS5284||Poverty lines across the world||Ravallion, Martin||2010/04|
|WPS5145||Four critiques of the redistribution hypothesis : an assessment||Milanovic, Branko||2009/12|
|WPS5080||A comparative perspective on poverty reduction in Brazil, China and India||Ravallion, Martin||2009/10|
|WPS5069||The pattern of growth and poverty reduction in China||Montalvo, Jose G.; Ravallion, Martin||2009/10|
|WPS5061||Global inequality recalculated : the effect of new 2005 PPP estimates on global inequality||Milanovic, Branko||2009/09|
|WPS4924||Dignity through discourse : poverty and the culture of deliberation in Indian village democracies||Rao, Vijayendra; Sanyal, Paromita||2009/05|
|WPS4928||Is deliberation equitable ? evidence from transcripts of village meetings in south India||Ban, Radu; Rao, Vijayendra||2009/05|
|WPS4900||International migration and gender differentials in the home labor market : evidence from Albania||Mendola, Mariapia; Carletto, Gero||2009/04|
|WPS4889||Orphanhood and the living arrangements of children in sub-saharan Africa||Beegle, Kathleen; Filmer, Deon; Stokes, Andrew; Tiererova, Lucia||2009/03|
|WPS4858||Poverty decline, agricultural wages, and non-farm employment in rural India : 1983-2004||Lanjouw, Peter; Murgai, Rinku||2009/03|
|WPS4844||Weakly relative poverty||Ravallion, Martin; Chen, Shaohua||2009/02|
|WPS4813||Month of birth and children's health in India||Lokshin, Michael; Radyakin, Sergiy||2009/01|
|WPS4816||The developing world's bulging (but vulnerable) "middle class"||Ravallion, Martin||2009/01|
|WPS4701||Aggregate economic shocks, child schooling and child health||Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Schady, Norbert||2008/08|
|WPS4659||The measurement of inequality of opportunity : theory and an application to Latin America||Ferreira , Francisco H. G.; Gignoux, Jeremie||2008/07|
|WPS4621||China is poorer than we thought, but no less successful in the fight against poverty||Chen, Shaohua; Ravallion, Martin||2008/05|
|WPS4623||Global poverty and inequality : a review of the evidence||Ferreira, Francisco H.G.; Ravallion, Martin||2008/05|
|WPS4424||Improving nutritional status through behavioral change : lessons from Madagascar||Galasso, Emanuela; Umapathi, Nithin||2007/12|
|WPS4431||Poverty reduction without economic growth ? explaining Brazil's poverty dynamics, 1985-2004||Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Leite, Phillippe G.; Ravallion, Martin||2007/12|
|WPS4385||How relevant is targeting to the success of an antipoverty program ?||Ravallion, Martin||2007/11|
|WPS4412||Measuring ancient inequality||Milanovic,Branko; Lindert, Peter H.; Williamson, Jeffrey G.||2007/11|
|WPS4386||Psychological health before, during, and after an economic crisis : results from Indonesia, 1993 - 2000||Friedman, Jed; Thomas, Duncan||2007/11|
|WPS4228||Poverty, social divisions, and conflict in Nepal||Do, Quy-Toan; Iyer, Lakshmi||2007/05|
|WPS4211||Absolute poverty measures for the developing world, 1981-2004||Chen, Shaohua; Ravallion, Martin||2007/04|
|WPS4217||Measuring welfare gains from better quality infrastructure||Klytchnikova, Irina; Lokshin, Michael||2007/04|
|WPS4199||New evidence on the urbanization of global poverty||Ravallion, Martin; Chen, Shaohua; Sangraula, Prem||2007/04|
|WPS4139||Adult mortality and children's transition into marriage||Beegle, Kathleen; Krutikova, Sofya||2007/02|
|WPS4125||Incentives, supervision, and sharecropper productivity||Jacoby, Hanan G.; Mansuri, Ghazala||2007/02|
|WPS4126||Watta satta : bride exchange and women's welfare in rural Pakistan||Jacoby, Hanan G.; Mansuri, Ghazala||2007/02|
|WPS4108||Trade liberalization, employment flows, and wage inequality in Brazil||Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Leite, Phillippe G.; Wai-Poi, Matthew||2007/01|
|WPS4085||The economics of consanguineous marriages||Do, Quy-Toan; Iyer, Sriya; Joshi, Shareen||2006/12|
|WPS4018||Forgone earnings from smoking : evidence for a developing country||Lokshin, Michael; Beegle, Kathleen||2006/10|
|WPS3997||Local inequality and project choice : theory and evidence from Ecuador||Araujo, M. Caridad; Ferreira, Francisco H.G.; Lanjouw, Peter; Ozler, Berk||2006/08|
|WPS3865||Global income inequality : what it is and why it matters||Milanovic, Branko||2006/03|
|WPS3867||The rise and fall of Brazilian inequality, 1981-2004||Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Leite, Phillippe G.; Litchfield, Julie A.||2006/03|
|WPS3836||Trade, inequality, and the political economy of institutions||Do, Quy-Toan; Levchenko, Andrei A.||2006/02|
|WPS3816||Inequality of opportunity and economic development||Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Walton, Michael||2006/01|
|WPS3699||Half a world : regional inequality in five great federations||Milanovic, Branko||2005/09|
|WPS3677||Inequality is bad for the poor||Ravallion, Martin||2005/08|
|WPS3687||Re-interpreting sub-group inequality decompositions||Elbers, Chris; Lanjouw, Peter; Mistiaen, Johan A.; Ozler, Berk||2005/08|
|WPS3640||Is a guaranteed living wage a good anti-poverty policy?||Murgai, Rinku; Ravallion, Martin||2005/06|
|WPS3579||A poverty-inequality trade-off?||Ravallion, Martin||2005/04|
|WPS3571||Does tariff liberalization increase wage inequality ? - Some empirical evidence||Milanovic, Branko; Squire, Lyn||2005/04|
|WPS3341||How Have the World's Poorest Fared Since the Early 1980s?||Chen, Shaohua; Ravallion, Martin||2004/06|
|WPS2846||Is India's economic growth leaving the poor behind?||Datt, Gaurav; Ravallion, Martin||2002/05|
|WPS2828||Beyond Oaxaca-Blinder : accounting for differences in household income distributions across countries||Bourguignon, Francois; Ferreira, Francisco H. G.||2002/04|
|WPS2672||Do workfare participants recover quickly from retrenchment?||Ravallion, Martin; Galasso, Emanuela; Lazo, Teodoro; Philipp, Ernesto||2001/09|
|WPS2665||Measuring aggregate welfare in developing countries - How well do national accounts and surveys agree?||Ravallion, Martin||2001/08|
|WPS2409||How did the world's poorest fare in the 1990s ?||Shaohua Chen; Ravallion, Martin||2000/08|
|WPS2342||What can we learn about country performance from conditional comparisons across countries?||Ravallion, Martin||2000/05|
|WPS2210||The slippery slope : explaining the increase in extreme poverty in urban Brazil, 1976-96||Ferreira, Francisco H. G.; Paes de Barrios, Ricardo||1999/10|
|WPS2106||Subjective economic welfare||Ravallion, Martin; Lokshin, Michael||1999/04|
|WPS2080||Monitoring targeting performance when decentralized allocation to the poor are unobserved||Ravallion||1999/03|
|WPS1902||When economic reform is faster than statistical reform - measuring and explaining inequality in rural China||Ravallion, Martin; Shaohua Chen||1998/03|
|WPS1694||What can new survey data tell us about recent changes in distribution and poverty?||Ravallion, Martin; Shaohua Chen||1996/12|
|WPS1487||Decomposing social indicators using distributional data||Bidani, Benu; Ravallion, Martin||1995/07|
|WPS1146||Is poverty increasing in the developing world?||Shaohua Chen; Datt, Gaurav; Ravallion, Martin||1993/06|