MPDD Seminar Series on “The World Bank’s global poverty measurement" by Ms. Shaohua Chen, Senior Statistician, Development Research Group, World Bank

19 Sep 2013
Bangkok, Thailand

In April 2013, the World Bank released the developing world's poverty estimates at 2010. Same as previous rounds, the new poverty estimates combine the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) exchange rates for household consumption from the 2005 International Comparison Program with data from more than 850 household surveys across 127 developing countries. Over two million randomly sampled households were interviewed for the 2010 estimate, representing 85 percent of the population of the developing world. About 21% of the population lived in poverty in 2010, as judged by what “poverty” typically means in the world’s poorest countries. Substantial overall progress is indicated — the corresponding poverty rate was 52% in 1981 — but progress was highly uneven across regions. The trends over time and regional profile are robust to various changes in methodology, though precise counts are more sensitive.

This seminar on “The World Bank’s global poverty measurement" was led by Shaohua Chen, a senior statistician in the Development Economics Research Department of the World Bank. Her main research interests over the last 20 years have concerned with poverty and policies for fighting it. She manages the Global Poverty Monitoring, and poverty, inequality estimations at the World Bank since 1991. Her research finding has been published in main Economics and Statistics journals including Quarterly Journal of Economics; Review of Economic and Statistics; Journal of Development Economics; Journal of Public Economics, etc. She is also in charging of the poverty measure and projection for the World Bank’s major reports such as “World Development Report”; “World Development Indicators”, “Global Monitoring report”, etc.