Poverty, Inequality and Growth

An Interview with Martin Ravallion

by Roger Williamson

24 September 2013

Roger Williamson

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.

In this interview, he stresses that growth does not necessarily mean rising inequality within societies; it does tend to reduce absolute ($1.25 per day) poverty; and it has different impacts on poverty depending on the initial inequality within the society and the policies pursued. A high level of initial poverty makes it harder to eliminate poverty, and also makes it harder to grow. He continues by explaining pro-poor growth and inclusive growth.  He outlines the progress since 2000, and argues that it is realistic that the world could virtually eliminate absolute poverty by 2030. He concludes by arguing that the specialist research consultations organized by UNU-WIDER have a real value.

Martin Ravallion is Professor of Economics, Georgetown University and the former head of World Bank’s research department, the Development Research Group. 

For more, see UNU-WIDER channel on Youtube. 

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