• Working for a World Free of Poverty
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### I agree these two charts are

I agree these two charts are really useful for understanding changes in global poverty over the last 20 years, and the relationship between growth, distribution and poverty.

However, I have some misgivings with both.

According to the first chart, the richest 1% of the developing world has a daily per capita income of less than \$10. So much for the emergence of a global middle class! Based on data from Povcalnet, the richest 6 centiles (6%) should appear above the \$10 mark in 1990, and by 2010 the richest 11 centiles (11%) should be above this threshold. So there must be an error somewhere in the calculations behind this chart, or at least in the labeling of the y-axis.

On the second chart, my concern is not strictly with the chart but the way it has been interpreted. You note that the largest number of people making the same income (illustrated by the peak of the distribution graph) is around \$1.65 in 2010. But this is not strictly correct. Again, using data from Povcalnet, it can be shown that around 15 million people are estimated to live on \$1.65 to the nearest cent. However, a much larger 18 million people live on \$1.22, the true statistical mode. You'll notice that this is, curiously enough, almost exactly equal to the international poverty line of \$1.25. My colleagues and I made this point in our 2013 paper, The Final Countdown: http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2013/04/ending%20extreme%20poverty%20chandy/the_final_countdown.pdf

The explanation here is that the x-axis uses a logarithmic scale. It is accurate to say that the peak of the density function occurs at around the natural log of \$1.65. But this is not the same as saying that the largest number of people making the same income falls at \$1.65, which wrongly interprets the log scale as a linear scale.

Despite these misgivings, I agree wholeheartedly with the conclusions you draw from the two charts and look forward to more analysis on the Bank's twin goals.