With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Development economics, poverty measurement, antipoverty policies, evaluation.
Martin Ravallion holds the inaugural Edmond D. Villani Chair of Economics at Georgetown University. Prior to taking up this position in December 2012 he had been Director of the World Bank’s research department, the Development Research Group, since 2007. He joined the Bank’s staff as an economist in 1988 and worked in virtually all sectors and regions over the subsequent 24 years.
Martin’s main research interests have long concerned poverty and policies for fighting it. In 1990 he proposed what has come to be known as the “$1 a day” poverty line, and since then he and his colleagues at the Bank have monitored progress against global poverty by this and other measures. He has advised numerous governments and international agencies on poverty and policies for fighting it, and he has written extensively on this and other subjects in economics, including three books and 200 papers in scholarly journals and edited volumes. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of ten economics journals, is a Senior Fellow of the Bureau for Research in Economic Analysis of Development, a Founding Council Member of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, USA. Amongst various prizes and awards, in 2012 he was awarded the John Kenneth Galbraith Prize from the American Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
Last week saw the release of the new 2011 Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) rates for GDP produced by the International Comparison Program (ICP). The ICP is a major global statistical operation. The Global Office is housed in the World Bank but the ICP is implemented separately in each region by designated regional counterparts.
You may have seen the small flurry of media attention given last week to the World Bank’s July 1 posting of its latest country classification by income. These are used extensively by the Bank in both its operations and its data products, such as the hugely popular World Development Indicators, as well as by many others outside the Bank. They influence aid allocations (both multilateral and bilateral).
Global poverty measures are important to public knowledge about the world as a whole, and they help inform the work of development agencies. In a new working paper I discuss three current issues that are specific to global poverty monitoring, and propose some solutions.