Research Paper: 57a

Changes over Time in the Global Multidimensional Poverty Index and Other Measures: Towards National Poverty Reports

This paper compares trends in multidimensional and monetary poverty systematically across developing regions. The trends in multidimensional poverty draw on the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and related sub- and partial-indices in 80 countries and 647 subnational regions, covering roughly 5 billion people, for which there is a recent MPI estimation and comparable datasets for two time periods. This paper uses two main techniques to assess the pro-poorness of multidimensional poverty reduction and triangulate monetary and nonmonetary poverty measures. First, utilizing the properties of subgroup decomposability and dimensional breakdown, it examines changes in the MPIT and its consistent sub-indices over time across sub-national regions and urban–rural regions. The decomposition analysis identifies relevant national patterns, including those in which the pace of poverty reduction is higher for the poorest subgroups. Next, it assesses overall annualized changes in the incidence of multidimensional poverty, compares this with changes in $1.90 poverty trends, and evaluates the pace and direction of various international poverty lines for monetary poverty, with national monetary and multidimensional measures, and for the family of global MPIT measures. This extensive empirical analysis illustrates how to assess the extent and patterns of reduction of multidimensional poverty, as well as whether it is inclusive or whether some people or groups are left behind, and triangulates various poverty measures to evaluate the reliability and credibility of their purposes. Naturally, some further research questions emerge.

Online Appendix E: Eighty national poverty reports, triangulating monetary measures and the global MPI family of multidimensional poverty measures.

Citation: Alkire, S., F. Kovesdi, M. Pinilla-Roncancio and S. Scharlin-Pettee. (2020). ‘Changes over time in the global Multidimensional Poverty Index and other measures: Towards national poverty reports’, OPHI Research in Progress 57a, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, University of Oxford.

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