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September 08 , 2008

A Unified Approach to Measuring Poverty and Inequality

Theory and Practice


'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.
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