Monitoring Global Poverty: Developments and Measurement Challenges

Recap: Guest Lecture by Dean Jolliffe, Lead Economist at the World Bank

It was a great pleasure to have Dr Dean Jolliffe join us last Tuesday (May 23rd) for both a masterclass and a guest lecture here at the Department of Macro-, International and Labor Economics, at Maastricht University, with the generous support of MORSE.

Dean Jolliffe

Dean Jolliffe is a Lead Economist at the World Bank in the Global Poverty & Inequality team and the Living Standards and Measurement Study team. He is the lead author of the paper providing the current update of the international Poverty Line that the World Bank uses to monitor extreme poverty around the world, intrinsically linked with SDG1, and was co-director of the “2021 World Development Report: Data for Better Lives”.

Lecture Recap

Dean gave an overview of the Bank’s work on the challenging task of monitoring global poverty and responded to the many questions from the engaging audience present in the SBE Aula at TS53.

Rewatch the lecture here!

In his presentation, Dean discussed the international profile of those who live in conditions of extreme poverty, then expanded to other concepts of poverty, current measurement challenges, and ways forward to improve our understanding of global poverty estimates.

The audience was particularly interested in comparing the incomes of the poor across the world, and Dean also directed to the importance of having within countries the actual prices the poor pay to get the poverty measurement right.

Another discussion point related to the precarious status of those living with means just above the poverty line and without security, implying that at the first strike of bad luck can be thrown back into poverty. Dean Jolliffe indicated the importance of the higher poverty lines that the bank uses in that regard, as those lines can guide one to think about what kind of shocks can be sustained by individuals and households without falling back to extreme poverty for instance.