The final book from a towering pioneer in the study of poverty and inequality--a critically important examination of poverty around the world
In this, his final book, economist Anthony Atkinson, one of the world's great social scientists and a pioneer in the study of poverty and inequality, offers an inspiring analysis of a central question: What is poverty and how much of it is there around the globe? The persistence of poverty--in rich and poor countries alike--is one of the most serious problems facing humanity. Better measurement of poverty is essential for raising awareness, motivating action, designing good policy, gauging progress, and holding political leaders accountable for meeting targets. To help make this possible, Atkinson provides a critically important examination of how poverty is--and should be--measured.
Bringing together evidence about the nature and extent of poverty across the world and including case studies of sixty countries, Atkinson addresses both financial poverty and other indicators of deprivation. He starts from first principles about the meaning of poverty, translates these into concrete measures, and analyzes the data to which the measures can be applied. Crucially, he integrates international organizations' measurements of poverty with countries' own national analyses.
Atkinson died before he was able to complete the book, but at his request it was edited for publication by two of his colleagues, John Micklewright and Andrea Brandolini. In addition, Fran ois Bourguignon and Nicholas Stern provide afterwords that address key issues from the unfinished chapters: how poverty relates to growth, inequality, and climate change.
The result is an essential contribution to efforts to alleviate poverty around the world.
"Tony Atkinson's extraordinary attention to detail for every element in measuring poverty should make it a bible for all those in every country dealing with the measurement of poverty and formulating policies for its reduction."---Madras Sivaraman, International Journal of Environmental Studies
"[Atkinson] is clear about the links between poverty and sustainable development, the two creating a vicious circle of damage and deprivation."---Liz Thomson, i Newspaper
"Atkinson's last thoughts on this important topic."---Martin Ravallion, Journal of Economic Equality
"In the struggle ahead to assure that progress against poverty is maintained and hopefully accelerated, the type of intellectually honest, scholarly yet socially committed, research exemplified by Tony Atkinson throughout his career will be needed in spades."---Professor Martin Ravallion, Journal of Economic Inequality
"This book demonstrates the strength of Atkinson's legacy for future generations of poverty scholars and underscores how the centrality of poverty to the political debate makes its measurement both a vital and delicate task."---Roberto Iacono, LSE Review of Books