Syndicate content

Add new comment

Thanks, Martin. My sense is that people are concerned about how the poor progress both in absolute terms and relative to the rest of the population. Suppose child mortality is falling at 5% per year among the poor. I think people feel differently depending on whether mortality is falling at 5% per year among the rest of the population or at 10% per year. If they do, we could set a target for the population and another target for the poorest (say) 40%. These could be in terms of levels, or rates of growth. In both cases, they need to be consistent with one another and with the starting values. Or we could set a target for the mean and the concentration index, again making sure the targets are consistent with one another and with the initial values. In the income case, it seems to me that an egalitarian could reasonably argue they’d like to see (within-country) inequality fall by more than the amount required to end poverty conditional on one’s growth assumption. And I suppose one could find this minimum inequality reduction for a variety of different inequality measures. My sense is your concern is partly about picking an inequality target from the air (it needs to be consistent with the poverty target, income growth assumptions, and initial values) and partly about being careful to choose a sensible inequality measure (hence your quotation marks). Adam