Within the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS) team, the anecdote goes that in the late 1970s World Bank President Robert McNamara, while reading through the first World Development Report, was stunned to discover that only a handful of countries were collecting any data for the reporting of poverty figures. He found this situation unacceptable and initiated an effort that among other things resulted in the creati
Living Standards Measurement Study
One is always grateful to see attention paid to the quality and quantity of household data available to study poverty. It is a subject dear to my heart and to my colleagues in the Living Standards Measurement Study (LSMS ) in the World Bank. In sub-Saharan Africa, as a recent Global Dashboard post titled “What do we really know about poverty and inequality?” by Claire Melamed points out, there is still a dearth of data, even after years of government effort and international support. But there are data -- in some countries lots of data -- so it’s worth highlighting what is there. Today I wanted to add some nuance to the discussion of income and assets raised by Claire and, probably more importantly, steer people to some new data that will, we hope, excite the most blasé of you out there.