Will the Sustainable Development Goals be fulfilled? Assessing present and future global poverty

Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Wolfgang Fengler, Homi Kharas, Michael Brottrager, Karim Bekhtiar, Martin Hofer

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

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Monitoring progress towards the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires the assessment of potential future trends in poverty. This paper presents an econometric tool that provides a methodological framework to carry out projections of poverty rates worldwide and aims at assessing absolute poverty changes at the global level under different scenarios. The model combines country-specific historical estimates of the distribution of income, using Beta–Lorenz curves, with projections of population changes by age and education attainment level, as well as GDP projections to provide the first set of internally consistent poverty projections for all countries of the world. Making use of demographic and economic projections developed in the context of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, we create poverty paths by country up to the year 2030. The differences implied by different global scenarios span worldwide poverty rates ranging from 4.5% (around 375 million persons) to almost 6% (over 500 million persons) by the end of our projection period. The largest differences in poverty headcount and poverty rates across scenarios appear for Sub-Saharan Africa, where the projections for the most optimistic scenario imply over 300 million individuals living in extreme poverty in 2030. The results of the comparison of poverty scenarios point towards the difficulty of fulfilling the first goal of the SDGs unless further development policy efforts are enacted.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPalgrave Communications
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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