IDS working papers;394

From deprivation to distribution : is global poverty becoming a matter of national inequality?

Published on 1 January 2012

This paper asks the following question: does the shift in global poverty towards
middle-income countries (MICs) mean that global poverty is becoming a matter of
national inequality? This paper argues that many of the world’s extreme poor already
live in countries where the total cost of ending extreme poverty is not prohibitively
high as a percentage of GDP. And in the not-too-distant future, most of the world’s
poor will live in countries that do have the domestic financial scope to end at least
extreme poverty and, in time, moderate poverty. This will likely pave the way for
addressing poverty reduction as primarily a domestic issue rather than primarily an
aid and international issue; and thus a (re)framing of poverty as a matter of national
distribution and national social contracts and political settlements between elites,
middle classes and the poor.
Keywords: poverty; inequality; distribution; low-income countries; middle-income

Publication details

published by
Sumner, Andy


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