Lecture 2, 5/31

Measuring Poverty
Poverty can be defined in very different ways. It can be measured in absolute or in relative terms, by looking at financial indicators, or taking into consideration broader factors. The way poverty is measured and defined affects the policies that are enacted to reduce it. In this session, we will look at monetary approaches at poverty assessment, and at multidimensional ones such as the Human Development Index.

Required readings
Banerjee, A. and Duflo, E.. 2012. “Think again, again” In Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty. PublicAffairs. Browse the book’s website http://pooreconomics.com
– Gates, B. 2013. “GDP Is a Terrible Way to Measure a Country’s Economy And it hinders our ability to help the poor.” In Slate
Video: Rosling, H. 2007. “New Insights on Poverty” TedTalks
– Video: Duflo, E. 2010. “Social Experiments to Fight Poverty” TedTalks

Background readings
– McIntyre, L. and Munro, J. 2013 “Nobody helps us”: insights from ultra-poor Bangladeshi women on being beyond reach.” Development in Practice Vol. 23, No. 2.
– Lu, Caizhen. 2011. Poverty and Development in China: Alternative Approaches to Poverty Assessment. Routledge.
– Chambers, R. 1995. “Poverty and Livelihoods: Whose reality counts?” Environment and Urbanization, Vol. 7, No. 1:173-204.

Other resources
World Bank, Poverty Portal
UNDP, Human Development Index (HDI)
Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, The Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI)