A tribute to Martin Ravallion

Martin Ravallion

Martin Ravallion, Australian economist and former director of the research department at the World Bank, passed away on December 24, 2022, at the age of 70. For the last decades he collaborated with UNU-WIDER on many occasions. In 2016, he delivered WIDER Annual Lecture 20 'Direct interventions against poverty in poor places'. We wanted to collate a curated list of some of the great papers and videos he created for us throughout the years.


    A global leader in development economics

    2018: What might explain today’s conflicting narratives on global inequality? by Martin Ravallion (Chapter 2 of the 2021 book Inequality in the Developing World)

    How unequal is the world today? Is global income inequality falling, as many economists claim, or is it rising, as one often hears? This paper reviews the arguments and evidence. A number of concerns about the underlying data are identified, with biases going in both directions.

    2016: WIDER Annual Lecture 20 Interventions against poverty in poor places by Martin Ravallion

    In 2016, the WIDER Annual Lecture was given by Professor Martin Ravallion. He discussed the economic and political issues surrounding the use of direct interventions, such as cash transfers and in kind contributions, against poverty. There is much hope for these interventions, but also much frustration; their performance in reality has often fallen short of policymakers’ expectations.

    WIDER Annual Lecture 20 by Martin Ravallion

    During the 2016 WIDER Annual Lecture, Martin Ravallion reviews the evidence on both the successes and failures, based on the many impact evaluations that have been done over the last 15 years.

    2015: Extreme Poverty | The Last 30 Years and the Next 30

    In this video, Martin Ravallion, at Georgetown University, discusses extreme poverty and the possibilities for its eradication. This is an issue that he believed was not adequately addressed when studying, measuring and crafting policy on poverty. He highlights the differences regarding poverty reduction between developing countries and developed countries. Social protection and transfers, he believed, are some of the dimensions of policy that have played a key role in this area.

    Poverty: What Next? - 30th Anniversary Conference

    To celebrate 30 years of research for development, UNU-WIDER organized a 3-day conference titled ‘Mapping the Future of Development Economics’. In this panel discussion, Martin Ravallion was joined by chair Erik Thorbecke, and panelists Peter Lanjouw and Santiago Levy the future of research on poverty.

    2013: Poverty, Inequality and Growth: An Interview with Martin Ravallion

    Drawing on a lifetime’s analysis of specialist collection and interpretation of poverty data, Martin Ravallion clarifies some key concepts and summarizes what we know and where we are on the eradication of extreme poverty.

    2013: Poverty, inequality and growth - an interview with Martin Ravallion

    An interview with Martin Ravallion. Drawing on a lifetime's analysis of specialist collection and interpretation of poverty data, Martin Ravallion clarified some key concepts and summarized what we know and where we are on the eradication of extreme poverty and other issues.

    2005: Looking Beyond Averages in the Trade and Poverty Debate by Martin Ravallion

    There has been much debate about how much poor people in developing countries gain from trade openness, as one aspect of ‘globalization’. The paper views the issue through both ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ empirical lenses.

    2002: Household Income Dynamics in Rural China by Jyotsna Jalan and Martin Ravallion

    It is well known in theory that certain forms of non-linear dynamics in household incomes can yield poverty traps and distribution-dependent growth. The potential implications for policy are dramatic: effective social protection from transient poverty will be an investment with lasting benefits, and pro-poor redistribution will promote aggregate economic growth.

    1987: Market Responses to Anti-Hunger Policies: Effects on Wages, Prices and Employment by Martin Ravallion

    The way markets respond to anti-hunger policies can have considerable bearing on their effectiveness. This paper investigates market responses to various policies, including direct transfer payments, relief work, food pricing policies, public grain storage, external trade, and public information.