Poverty in developing countries, 1990–2016

Some regional, temporal, and income level variations

Authored by: Udaya R. Wagle

Routledge International Handbook of Poverty

Print publication date:  October  2019
Online publication date:  September  2019

Print ISBN: 9780367178666
eBook ISBN: 9780429058103
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter provides a snapshot of poverty across developing countries following the traditional monetary as well as the multidimensional frameworks of measurement. By tracking cross-national data since 1990, it offers a comparative analysis of poverty across countries in some distinct ways: over time, by region, and by income groups. Data show that the poverty measurement outcomes from these approaches are not very different, with any variation justified in terms of the way the poverty lines, especially from the international approach, range from less to more stringent. The degree of consistency, however, does not fully depend on the level of stringency of the poverty lines themselves, neither do they depend on the ability to incorporate unique national contexts. Other insights from this analysis include lower poverty headcount ratios and gaps applying to more recent periods, higher-income developing countries, and certain regions including Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia. There is also very clear evidence that countries with more comprehensive social protection policies are able to reduce poverty in all these forms.

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