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Kiely, Ray (2004) 'The World Bank and "Global Poverty Reduction": Good Policies or Bad Data?' Journal of Contemporary Asia, 34 (1). pp. 3-20.

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This article investigates recent claims — made principally by the World Bank — that world poverty is declining, and that this decline is due to countries adopting “pro-globalisation” policies. It is argued that such claims are based on selective and very questionable evidence, as well as a technocratic approach to poverty reduction that ignores the issue of inequality. Through an assessment of the problems of measuring income-related poverty, it is argued that (i) there is insufficient reliable data for us to know what is happening in terms of poverty trends; (ii) the measurements used tend to have a bias towards recording a long-term reduction in global poverty; (iii) there is a linkage between poverty and inequality; (iv) inequality, both within and between countries, is a far more important issue than current poverty reduction discourses suggest; (v) insofar as there may be a decline in poverty, this is despite, rather than because of “pro-globalisation” policies. The article concludes by briefly suggesting that the world economy is not as benign a force as the World Bank suggests, and that capital concentration takes place through a process of “cumulative causation.”

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 00472336
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2007 13:32

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