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Key Readings

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Data on poverty

Measuring and Analyzing Poverty

Measuring and Analyzing Inequality

  • Amiel, Y., 1998, "The Subjective Approach to the Measurement of Income Inequality" in Silber, J. (ed) Income Inequality Measurement: From Theory to Practice, Kluwer, Dewenter.
  • Atkinson, A.B., 1970, "On the Measurement of Inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, 2: 244-63.
  • Atkinson, A.B., 1983, The Economics of Inequality, 2nd edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford.
  • Bourguignon, F., 1979, "Decomposable Income Inequality Measures", Econometrica, 47: 901-20.
  • Cowell, F.A., 2008,  Measuring Inequality. Oxford University Press.
  • Cowell, F.A., 1999, "Measurement of Inequality" in Atkinson, A.B. and F. Bourguignon (eds) Handbook of Income Distribution, North Holland, Amsterdam.
  • Cowell, F.A. and S.P. Jenkins, 1995, "How Much Inequality Can We Explain? A Methodology and an Application to the USA", Economic Journal, 105: 421-30.
  • Dalton, H., 1920, "The Measurement of the Inequality of Incomes", Economic Journal, 30: 348-61.
  • Deaton, A., 1997, The Analysis of Household Surveys: A Microeconometric Approach to Development Policy. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  • Fields, G.S., 1980, Poverty, Inequality and Development, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
  • Foster, J., J.Greer and E.Thorbecke, 1984, "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures", Econometrica 52: 761-5.
  • OECD, 1995, Income Distribution in OECD Countries: Evidence from the Luxembourg Income Study, OECD, Paris.
  • Saposnik, R., 1981, "Rank-Dominance in Income Distribution" Public Choice, 36 pp147-151.
  • Saposnik, R., 1983, "On Evaluating Income Distributions: Rank Dominance, the Suppes-Sen Grading Principle of Justice and Pareto Optimality", Public Choice, 40: 329-36.
  • Sen, A.K., 1973, On Economic Inequality, Oxford University Press, London.
  • Sen A.K., 1976, "Poverty: An Ordinal Approach to Measurement" Econometrica, 44.
  • Shorrocks, A.F., 1983, "Inequality Decomposition by Factor Components", Econometrica, 50: 193-212.
  • Shorrocks, A.F., 1982b, "The Impact of Income Components on the Distribution of Family Incomes", Quarterly Journal of Economics, 98: 311-26.
  • Shorrocks A.F., 1983, "Ranking Income Distributions", Economica, 50: 3-17.
  • Shorrocks, A. F., 1984, "Inequality Decomposition by Population Subgroup", Econometrica, 52: 1369-85.
  • Theil, H., 1979, "The Measurement of Inequality by Components of Income", Economics Letters, 2: 197-9.
  • Yitzhaki, S. and R.I. Lerman, 1991, "Income Stratification and Income Inequality", Review of Income and Wealth, 37: 313-329.
  • Zellner, A., 1962, "An Efficient Method of Estimating Seemingly Unrelated Regressions and Tests for Aggregation Bias", Journal of the American Statistical Association, 57: 346-368.


The software packages below can be used to carry out projections and simulations. These tools use both grouped consumption (or income) data and unit record data from household surveys. They vary by the type and complexity of the analyses they can perform.

  • ADePT: Software Platform for Automated Economic Analysis — ADePT software was developed in the research department of the World Bank to automate and standardize economic analysis. ADePT is now freely available for download from this site for applied economics researchers willing to quickly and reliably analyse their data using most modern statistical and econometric techniques.
  • PovcalNet — An interactive computational tool that allows you to replicate the calculations made by the World Bank’s researchers in estimating the extent of absolute poverty in the world ($1 a day). It also allows you to calculate the poverty measures under different assumptions and to assemble the estimates using alternative country groupings or for any set of individual countries of your choosing. PovcalNet is self-contained. PovcalNet is a product of the World Bank's Development Research Group.
  • PovSTAT — an Excel based program that produces forecasts that vary by level of complexity depending on the availability of reliable data for the post survey period and on the extent to which various factors influencing poverty levels are incorporated. You will find a chapter describing the tool, as well as a file with the program itself.

Mapping Poverty

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Guidance on Poverty Assessments

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