Don’t get the hump, but what really changed on global income, and what didn’t?

March 29, 2019
I was wondering when that phrase would appear…..  Andy Sumner & Kathleen Craig of the King’s Department of International Development continue the humpology debate. Duncan’s blog on the global hump and Jose Manuel Roche’s reply raise the question of what has actually changed and what hasn’t. Here’s (yet) another take and in an attempt to be less geeky and more narrative-based,

The hump counter attack! Jose Manuel Roche sets me straight on the global transition (or lack of it)

March 20, 2019
Quite a few people disagreed with aspects of my recent post shifts in the global distribution of income. José Manuel Roche, Head of Research for Save the Children UK, felt moved to respond. I enjoyed Duncan’s recent blog about the shift from a two hump to a one hump world. Who wouldn’t? So I’d like throw in my two pennies’ worth

What are the consequences of the shift from a two hump to a one hump world?

March 7, 2019
I’ve been using this idea in a few recent talks, and thought I’d test and improve it by bouncing it off FP2P readers. It uses a simple pair of graphs on global income distribution to start thinking through how the ‘aid and development’ sector is changing, or resisting change. The starting point is that we have moved from a two

What does ‘Dignity’ add to our understanding of development?

February 7, 2018
Guest post from Tom Wein, of the Busara Center for Behavioral Economics, based in Nairobi. Is your program respectful? How, exactly, do you know that? Did you ask people? Development aims to give people better lives. In doing so, we mainly aim to increase wealth and health – in part because we can measure those outcomes with ease. But there’s

Davos is here again, so it’s time for Oxfam’s new report on prosperity and poverty, wealth and work.

January 22, 2018
As the masters of the universe (or at least planet earth) gather in Davos, here’s a curtain-raiser from Deborah Hardoon, Oxfam’s Deputy Head of Research, introducing its new report. Gotta love a data release. Every year I look forward to the release of the Credit Suisse Global Wealth databook. An immense piece of work, developed over a decade and led by

A wonderful book by Jean Dreze, India’s Orwell

November 27, 2017
Notes from my talk at last week’s launch of Jean Drèze’s new book, Sense and Solidarity. Has anyone written Jean Drèze’s biography? If not, why not? A fascinating figure, surrounded by myths and legends (did he really sleep rough in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, the square next to LSE, when he was a lecturer there?). He’s a wonderful writer who reminds

Is inequality going up or down?

November 2, 2017
My Oxfam colleague and regular FP2P contributor Max Lawson sends out a weekly summary of his reading on inequality (he leads Oxfam’s advocacy work on it). They’re great, and Max has opened his mailing list up to the anyone who’s interested – just email, with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line. Here’s his latest effort – a long, but excellent

RIP Tony Atkinson: Here he is on our personal responsibility for reducing inequality

January 2, 2017
Tony Atkinson, one of the world’s great thought leaders on poverty and inequality, died on New Year’s Day. Combining intellectual rigour and a profound commitment to social justice, his life’s work epitomised the economics profession at its best. Here he is in the final chapter of his 2015 book ‘Inequality: What can be done?’ ‘I do not accept that rising

Talk is cheap, but will the World Bank really step up on inequality?

October 4, 2016
Max Lawson, Oxfam’s Head of Development Finance and Public Services raises the curtain this week’s World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings before hopping on the plane to Washington I have been going to the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and IMF longer than I care to remember, certainly since most Oxfam policy wonks were still at school. Every time

The 2016 Multidimensional Poverty Index was launched yesterday. What does it say?

June 3, 2016
This is at the geeky, number-crunching end of my spectrum, but I think it’s worth a look (and anyway, they asked nicely). The 2016 Multi-Dimensional Poverty Index was published yesterday. It now covers 102 countries in total, including 75 per cent of the world’s population, or 5.2 billion people. Of this proportion, 30 per cent of people (1.6 billion) are

Book Review: The Economics of Poverty by Martin Ravallion

May 5, 2016
Oxfam inequality number cruncher Deborah Hardoon reviews The Economics of Poverty by Martin Ravallion.  It’s hard to think of a better placed individual than Martin Ravallion to have written this book. Not only has he spent over 30 years working on poverty, including 24 years at the World Bank, but in 1990 it was Martin Ravallion who, during dinner with

The income of the world’s poor is going up, but they’re $1 trillion poorer. What’s going on?

April 28, 2016
Oxfam number cruncher Deborah Hardoon tries to get her head round something weird – according to the stats, the poorest half of the people are getting poorer even though their incomes are rising. It has become something of a tradition that in January every year we take a look at the Forbes list of billionaires and the Credit Suisse Global