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Measuring and Analyzing Poverty

Handbook on Poverty and InequalityThe Handbook on Poverty and Inequality, by Jonathan Haughton and Shahidur R. Khandker, provides tools to measure, describe, monitor, evaluate, and analyze poverty. It provides background materials for designing poverty reduction strategies. This book is intended for researchers and policy analysts involved in poverty research and policy making.

The handbook began as a series of notes to support training courses on poverty analysis and gradually grew into a sixteen, chapter book. Now it consists of explanatory text with numerous examples, interspersed with multiple-choice questions (to ensure active learning) and combined with extensive practical exercises using stata statistical software.

The handbook has been thoroughly tested. The World Bank Institute has used most of the chapters in training workshops in countries throughout the world, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malawi, Pakistan, the Philippines, Tanzania, and Thailand, as well as in distance courses with substantial numbers of participants from numerous countries in Asia (in 2002) and Africa (in 2003), and online asynchronous courses with more than 200 participants worldwide (in 2007 and 2008). The feedback from these courses has been very useful in helping us create a handbook that balances rigor with accessibility and practicality.

Questions, comments, and suggestions related to the Handbook should be directed to Shahidur Khandker at

Individual chapters of the handbook are available for download below. To read the full text online, please visit:


Front matter (688kb pdf)

Chapter 1: What Is Poverty and Why Measure It? (142kb pdf)

Chapter 2: Measuring Poverty (344kb pdf)

Chapter 3: Poverty Lines (402kb pdf)

Chapter 4: Measures of Poverty (348kb pdf)

Chapter 5: Poverty Indexes: Checking for Robustness (371kb pdf)

Chapter 6: Inequality Measures (418kb pdf)

Chapter 7: Describing Poverty: Poverty Profiles (365kb pdf)

Chapter 8: Understanding the Determinants of Poverty (283kb pdf)

Chapter 9: Poverty Reduction Policies (371kb pdf)

Chapter 10: International Poverty Comparisons (260kb pdf)

Chapter 11: The Analysis of Poverty over Time (329kb pdf)

Chapter 12: Vulnerability to Poverty (306kb pdf)

Chapter 13: Poverty Monitoring and Evaluation (296kb pdf)

Chapter 14: Using Regression (410kb pdf)

Chapter 15: The Effects of Taxation and Spending on Inequality and Poverty (493kb pdf)

Chapter 16: Using Survey Data: Some Cautionary Tales (293kb pdf)

Answers to the Review Questions (52kb pdf)

Appendix 1: Data Introduction (161kb pdf)

Appendix 2: Stata Preliminary (312kb pdf)

Appendix 3: Exercises (419kb pdf)

Index (375kb pdf)

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