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Submitted by Simon Walley on
Shanta, really liked your video which confirms something I have been struggling with for a long time. Would it be fair to say that much of the poverty measures used for Africa in the WDI and thereby also the MDGs are in fact very unreliable to the point of being meaningless? When you delve into the data you find that a lot of them are based on household survey data which are done every ten years and as you say go back to the 1990s in some cases. In work I have been doing, I have kept the decile distribution which comes out of the census work and in theory will not change too rapidly and then applied the consumption component of GDP to it, to get an up-to-date income distribution. This gives very different results from the MDG figures, even allowing for the PPP adjustment which I think the MDG uses. There are issues in oil countries but this could be controlled for with a bit of effort I think. I have not been able to find anyone willing to discuss this in the WB, so very refreshing to hear this from you! Best Simon