La Misure Scorrette della Povertà

ROME – Nei primi mesi del 2012, il Presidente uscente della Banca Mondiale Robert Zoellick ha annunciato che l’Obiettivo di Sviluppo del Millennio di dimezzare il tasso di povertà globale, relativamente al livello del 1990, era stato raggiunto nel 2010 - cinque anni prima del previsto. Ma molti analisti hanno contestato le stime che si basano sull’attuale soglia di povertà della Banca Mondiale, innalzata nel 2008 da 1 a 1,25 dollari al giorno, in termini di parità di potere d’acquisto (PPA).

I critici sostengono che, per ragioni metodologiche, la soglia di povertà basata sul PPA travisa la prevalenza della povertà nel mondo. Ad esempio, nel corso di ciascuno dei tre turni del Programma di Confronto Internazionale della Banca Mondiale, svolti finora, la soglia di povertà è stata definita in modo diverso, evidenziando la debolezza della misura corrente. In effetti, tenuto conto dell’inflazione negli Stati Uniti, nel 2005 si sarebbe dovuto innalzare la soglia di povertà a 1.45 dollari al giorno.

Per migliorare le stime della povertà globale – quelle della Banca Mondiale si dispiegano su tre decenni, a partire dal 1981 - è necessario superare tre grandi problemi: l’insufficienza di basi di dati, l’esecuzione scorretta delle raccolte dati, e le irregolari conversioni del PPA. Purtroppo, l’approccio della Banca Mondiale ha eluso questi problemi o non li ha affrontati adeguatamente.

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