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Thanks for the update. We are still in the dark about the basis for these influential country classifications that you and your team keep publishing. For example, as I asked in my CGD post with reference to the “High-Income Country” threshold, why $12,616? (
It seems a stretch to suggest that your country classifications are only intended for “analytic” purposes. (And, as an aside, I am not sure what those purposes may be.) You must know that these income classifications are watched closely by (governmental and non-governmental) aid agencies across the globe. For example, the UK government uses them in its foreign aid decisions, which has led to much concern; see for example, Jonathan Glennie’s post just yesterday regarding India, on the Guardian’s Poverty Matters blog. (
If there is some rationale to these thresholds then please tell us. If not then we deserve to know that too, so your well-intentioned data users don’t put more weight on the numbers than they can reasonably bear.
The review you describe (as last year) is welcome. But maybe you should seriously consider not publishing these classifications until you have sorted out how they should be done, in your ongoing review.
Martin Ravallion