Data for monitoring the poverty MDG

2003 Occasional Paper
By Deaton, Angus

I consider two of the most important unresolved issues in monitoring world poverty for the Millennium Development Goals. Section 1 is concerned with the selection of poverty lines, whether they should be national or international, and if the latter, how the line should be converted between local currencies. It concludes with a proposal for modifying current practice. Section 2 is concerned with the data sources, and with whether monitoring should be done using national accounts data, with appropriate allowance for distribution, or from household surveys. I vigorously argue in favor of household surveys, and again end with a series of proposals for survey work. Section 3 summarizes some current priorities.