The Future of Global Poverty

The Future of Global Poverty

WORKING PAPER by Peter Edward, Newcastle University Business School and Andy Sumner, King’s College London.

UNDP (IPC-IG), June 2013

 A set of recent papers has sought to make projections of global poverty into the future. These have significant policy implications because it is only by understanding both the future scale and anticipated locations of poverty that properly informed debates can be had on the scale and objectives of future international aid. In this new one pager and working paper, the authors add to the debate by introducing a long-term model of poverty, inequality and growth.

In sum, Edward and Sumner argue that, despite uncertainties in the modelling, there is evidently benefit in using the available data to attempt to estimate global poverty in the future as long as the approach recognises the uncertainties and the wide range of possible estimates that might be derived from the various different ways of allowing for them.

That way, even if researchers and policy makers have doubts over absolute poverty figures, they should be able to better understand the significance of differences, the overall direction of trends and the robustness of any results that are feeding into policy deliberations. 


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