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Globalization and poor people:
The debate and evidence

Martin Ravallion

SARPN acknowledges The Department of Economics, University of Melbourne as a source of this document.
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  1. Concepts: sources of confusion in the globalization debate

  2. Data and measurement: alternative approaches and the World Bank’s preferred methods

  3. Evidence from cross-country comparisons

  4. Evidence from India

  5. Conclusions for policy

One side of the debate:

“Growth really does help the poor: in fact it raises their incomes by about as much as it raises the incomes of everybody else. . globalization raises incomes, and the poor participate fully.”
(The Economist, May 2000)

“Evidence suggests that no one has lost out to globalization in an absolute sense.”
“Growth is sufficient. Period”
(Surjit Bhalla, Imagine There’s No Country, Institute for International Economics, Washington DC)

The opposing view:

“There is plenty of evidence that current patterns of growth and globalization are widening income disparities and hence acting as a brake on poverty reduction.”
(Justin Forsyth, Oxfam UK., The Economist, June 20, 2000.)

“Globalization policies have contributed to increased poverty, increased inequality between and within nations”
(International Forum for Globalization.)

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