New Report: Half Billion People Escape Abject Poverty In Past Five Years

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Money really does make the world go round

Laurence Chandy and Geoffrey Gertz, two researchers at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, have published an op/ed in today's Washington Post in which they discuss the findings of their new report on global poverty trends. The news is really good.

The economies of the developing world have expanded 50 percent in real terms, despite the Great Recession. Moreover, growth has been particularly high in countries with large numbers of poor people. India and China, of course, but also Bangladesh, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Uganda, Mozambique and Uzbekistan—nine countries that were collectively home to nearly two-thirds of the world's poor in 2005—are all experiencing phenomenal economic advances.

In the new Brookings Institution report "Poverty in Numbers: The Changing State of Global Poverty from 2005 to 2015," we updated the World Bank's official $1.25-a-day figures to reveal how the global poverty landscape has changed with the emergence of developing countries. We estimate that between 2005 and 2010, nearly half a billion people escaped extreme hardship, as the total number of the world's poor fell to 878 million people. Never before in history have so many people been lifted out of poverty in such a short period. The U.N. Millennium Development Goals established the target of halving the rate of global poverty between 1990 and 2015; this was probably achieved by 2008, some seven years ahead of schedule. Moreover, using forecasts of per capita consumption growth, we predict that by 2015, fewer than 600 million people will remain poor. At that point, the 1990 poverty rate will have been halved and then halved again.

The decline in poverty is happening in all the world's regions and most of its countries, though at varying speeds. The emerging markets of Asia are recording the greatest successes; the two regional giants, China and India, are likely to account for three-quarters of the global reduction between 2005 and 2015. Over this period, Asia's share of the world's poor is anticipated to fall from two-thirds to one-third, while Africa's share is expected to rise to nearly 60 percent. Yet Africa, too, is making advances; we estimate that in 2008 its poverty rate dropped below the 50 percent mark for the first time. By 2015, African poverty is projected to fall below 40 percent, a feat China did not achieve until the mid-1990s.

Markets and globalization are good for whatever ails you (especially if you and your familly are dirt poor). On the other hand, if you happen to be kleptocrat intent on maintaining your subjects in abject poverty, I lay out my never-fail rules for how to achieve and maintain the miracle of poverty in my column, Poor Planning

Go here to download the whole Brookings report. Whole Post op/ed is available here.

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  1. OK this makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Wow.

    total-anonymity.edu.tc

  2. durable goods manufacturing can do this…like ours used to.

    1. Re: OhioOrrin,

      durable goods manufacturing can do this…like ours used to.

      ANY production of marketable goods will do, OO, not just machinery. People tend to like eating and being clothed, as well… imagine that.

      1. no agriculture employs fewer people than before. clothing is a durable good like furniture neither of which is domestically manufactured anymore…thus making my point.

        1. In 2008 we made more durable goods in this country, in real terms, than we had ever made before, and more than any other country in the history of the world had ever made before.

          The recession knocked us off that high in marginal terms, but we’ll start setting new records yearly again starting in 2012.

          We do just fine with durable goods.

          We kick China’s ass up and down the street with durable goods.

        2. Ohio Orrin|1.26.11 @ 1:22PM|#
          “no agriculture employs fewer people than before. clothing is a durable good like furniture neither of which is domestically manufactured anymore…thus making my point.”
          You’re full of shit.

        3. Re: OhioOrrin,

          [N]o[,] agriculture employs fewer people than before. [C]lothing is a durable good[,] like furniture[,] neither of which is [sic] domestically manufactured anymore[,] thus making my point.

          Thus wrote the result of American pooblik edukashion.

          And NO, it does NOT make “your” point, as I was not discussing “your point” (whichever it was) but your contention that only durable goods production achieves (presumably) the rise in people’s standard of living. I pointed out the fact that merely producing machinery and other durable goods are not the only means to achieve this, as people also require food and clothing.

    2. There’s no inane political/economic idea too retarded and illogical for you to pick up is there, OhioBorrin?

    3. yeah, too bad our minimum wage laws and unions killed our competitiveness 🙂

      1. killed our competitiveness? $10/hr warehouse jobs w/o benefits is the KEY to $ucce$$. thx for straightening us out

        1. Allowing to private parties to negotiate their own terms of employment and compensation is the key to success.

          There are many who would take a $10 per hour warehouse job in a heartbeat right now. There are many who would take a $6 per hour warehouse job in a heartbeat right now. However instead of having that option, they have no option thanks to politicians looking out for their ‘better interests’.

    4. Ours still could, if we wanted to put up with the requirements of durable goods manufacturing (paying wages corresponding to what people can afford to pay for those goods, accepting that some pollution from the production of those goods is unavoidable, and so on).

    5. durable goods manufacturing can do this…like ours used to.

      I credit ObamaCare and TARP.

  3. New Report: Half Billion People Escape Abject Poverty In Past Five Years[.]

    The US should emulate those countries. Oh, wait – the US DID, in the 19th Century. Now, the US is practicing Fed-driven fascism – how ’bout them apples, America????

  4. Caption Contest!

    “I got almost a million Zim dollars for my gold earrings!”

    1. “Fuck free skrimps, I can buy the real kind!”

      1. “Thanks, Obama!”

        1. “Thanks, Obama, You Da Man!”

  5. Mozambique has a multiparty civil society and pro-development policies. If they reform their land ownership system, too, they’ll be a net food exporter and richer than South Africa within 10 years.

    But, of course, DEY TUK YUR JOBZ!

    I’m interested to see what a mass middle-class world economy looks like in 20 years.

    1. My guess is that it would look much like the US of the 50’s: Folks having 1 TV, that they kept for 10 years; Folks having 1 car, that DIDN’T have electronic stability control and SINC, that they cared more about getting them down the road than having all the latest gizmos, that they kept for 10 years; folks living in multi-generational housholds; folks cooking more and eating out less.

  6. India and China, of course, but also Bangladesh, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Uganda, Mozambique and Uzbekistan – nine countries that were collectively home to nearly two-thirds of the world’s poor in 2005 – are all experiencing phenomenal economic advances.

    And, within a few decades, those countries will be ready to squander everything on pious experiments like a “war on poverty.”

    1. no experiments. we just shoot em

  7. Don’t they realize that only government investment in green jobs and high speed rail can make a country prosperous?

    1. yep, sure does

  8. The economies of the developing world have expanded 50 percent in real terms, despite the Great Recession. Moreover, growth has been particularly high in countries with large numbers of poor people.

    But only at the cost of their genuine, native spirituality. Wealth is just a racist western concept that we try to impose on morally superior spiritual cultures.

    1. Finally someone gets it!!

      Sleep with me, J sub!!

      1. Why do you think I go to anti-war protests?

  9. And yet there are loads of people who are absolutely convinced that life just gets worse and worse in poor countries and that international industry and investment is just exploiting them and making them poorer.

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