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A Unified Approach to Measuring Poverty and Inequality: Theory and Practice

by: James Foster, Suman Seth, Michael Lokshin, Zurab Sajaia
Price: $29.95   *Geographic discounts available!

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: World Bank Training Series
English; Paperback; 322 pages; 7.5x9.25
Published May 10, 2013 by World Bank
ISBN: 978-0-8213-8461-9; SKU: 18461

A Unified Approach to Measuring Poverty and Inequality: Theory and Practice is an introduction to the theory and practice of measuring poverty and inequality, as well as a user's guide for analyzing income or consumption distribution for any standard household dataset using the World Bank's ADePT software. The approach taken here considers income standards as building blocks for basic measurement, then uses them to construct inequality and poverty measures. This unified approach provides advantages in interpreting and contrasting the measures and in understanding the way measures vary over time and space.

Several recent initiatives have lowered the cost of accessing household datasets. The ADePT software enables users to analyze microdata from household surveys and other sources and generate print-ready, standardized tables and charts. It can also be used to simulate the impact of economic shocks, cash transfers and other policy instruments on poverty, and inequality. The software automates analysis, helps minimize human errors, and encourages development of new economic analysis methods. Of interest to teachers and students as well as to policy practitioners, A Unified Approach to Measuring Poverty and Inequality will empower researchers to plumb greater depths in searching for regularity in larger and larger datasets. This book should help to enrich discussion and analysis relating to the World Bank's recent effort toward defining new targets and indicators for promoting work on eradicating poverty and enhancing shared prosperity.

'This book, written by some of today's leading distributional analysts, provides a highly accessible unified treatment of inequality and poverty measurement and reporting, rich in explanations and concrete empirical examples. The book presents a range of frontier material on ultra-poverty, chronic poverty, hybrid poverty lines, categorical and ordinal variables, multidimensionality, inequality of opportunity, and polarization. Research economists, practitioners, academics, and postgraduate students can all benefit from owning this book. I recommend it highly as an invaluable entrée to almost all facets of economic inequality and poverty.'

-Peter Lambert, Professor of Economics, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, United States

'This is a must-have book for practitioners who wish to master the techniques of income distribution measurement. It is a useful book for researchers because it provides new and interesting insights into many 'old issues'. It is also a valuable book for students to reference because it bridges nicely income distribution measurement theory with practice.'

-Zheng Buhong, Professor of Economics, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, United States

'This book is one of the best books that I have seen so far on poverty and inequality measurement. It combines technical sophistication with equally rigorous empirical applications. Using systematic and detailed explanations it takes the reader from the very basics of the theory to the frontiers of research in the area. It then takes all these theoretical measures and shows the reader step by step how to put them in to practice using the World Bank Adept software, which can be downloaded free. Anyone interested in poverty and inequality will have much to learn from this book.'

-Indranil Dutta, Lecturer in Economics, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

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