How poor is poor? Towards a rights-based poverty line

How poor is poor? Towards a rights-based poverty line
Document type
Woodward, David
New Economics Foundation
Date of publication
1 July 2010
Trends: economic, social and technology trends affecting business, Small business & enterprise: the practicalities of running a small business and the theory of entrepreneurship
Business and management
Material type

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This paper summarises the fundamental problems with the $1-a-day definition of (and approach to) poverty that has been widely adopted by the international community, and what they mean for what we think we know about poverty. It goes on to review other options, to assess whether they provide a more viable alternative. Finally, it proposes a new approach - a rights-based poverty line (RBPL), based on the level of income at which living standards consistent with economic and social rights are actually achieved in each country - which, it argues, resolves the problems inherent in the definition of poverty more satisfactorily than the other alternatives.

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