贫困的错误计量

罗马—2012年初,即将卸任的世界银行行长佐利克宣布,让全球贫困率在1990年水平的基础上下降一半的联合国千年发展目标在2010年实现了,比计划提早了五年。但许多分析家对基于世行当前贫困线的估计提出了挑战。2008年,世行贫困线从每天1美元提高到了每天1.25美元(按购买力评价即PPP计算)。

批评者指出,由于方法论原因,基于PPP的贫困线错误地展现了世界贫困地图。比如,目前世行已经进行了三轮国际比较计划(International Comparison Program),三轮中的贫困线各不相同,这也表明当前计量标准的脆弱性。事实上,考虑到美国的通货膨胀,2005年就应该把贫困线提高到1.45美元每天。

改善全球贫困估计——世行在这方面的工作始于1981年,已经进行了三十多年——要求克服三大问题:调查数据不充分、调查执行缺陷以及错误的PPP转换。不幸的是,世行的方法逃避了这些问题,或者说没有充分解决它们。

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