A medição incorrecta da pobreza

ROMA – No início de 2012, o presidente cessante do Banco Mundial, Robert Zoellick, anunciou que o Objectivo de Desenvolvimento do Milénio de reduzir para metade a taxa de pobreza mundial, em relação ao seu nível de 1990, tinha sido alcançado em 2010 - cinco anos antes do previsto. Mas muitos analistas têm questionado as estimativas feitas pelo Banco Mundial, baseadas na actual linha de pobreza, que passou em 2008 de um dólar para 1,25 dólares por dia, em termos de paridade do poder de compra (PPC).

Os críticos argumentam que, por razões metodológicas, a linha de pobreza com base na PPC distorce a prevalência da pobreza em todo o mundo. Por exemplo, cada uma das três rondas do Programa de Comparação Internacional do Banco Mundial, que foram conduzidas até agora, definiu a linha de pobreza de maneira diferente, destacando a fragilidade da medida actual. Na verdade, tendo em conta a inflação nos Estados Unidos, a linha de pobreza deveria ter aumentado para 1,45 dólares por dia, em 2005.

Melhorar as estimativas globais da pobreza - o Banco Mundial abrange três décadas, a partir de 1981 - requer superar três problemas principais: dados insuficientes provenientes de estudos, falha na execução desses dados e conversões PPC erradas. Infelizmente, a abordagem do Banco Mundial tem evitado esses problemas ou tem-se dirigido a eles de forma inadequada.

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