Monitoring Global Poverty: Measurement Challenges & Developments (internal event for UM students and staff)

Dr. Dean Jolliffe, Lead Economist, The World Bank


Dean Jolliffe is a Lead Economist at the World Bank in the Global Poverty & Inequality team and the Living Standards and Measurement Study team. He was also co-director of the 2021 World Development Report: Data for Better Lives. Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a research economist with the Economic Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an assistant professor at Charles University Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education in Prague, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, and a postdoctoral fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute. Dean currently holds appointments at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, the Institute for the Study of Labor, and the Global Labor Organization. He received his PhD in Economics from Princeton University. For more information, visit:


Reducing extreme poverty has for decades been a cornerstone of international economic development. This objective was at the forefront of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is now the first of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The World Bank, which serves as the custodian for monitoring progress towards the SDGs on poverty, reports that significant progress had been made in reducing extreme poverty from 36 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015. While this reduction has been steady over the years, it has also been uneven across countries. In 2015, when the rate was 10 percent, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty was less than 3 percent in more than half the countries of the world. Since 2015, the relatively steady decline in poverty decelerated and more recently, with the onset of the COVID pandemic, the world has experienced the largest increases in global poverty in decades. The recent reversal of progress motivates a need for better methodologies in identifying and monitoring the poor with greater precision and in a timelier manner. Similarly, the uneven progress across countries in reducing extreme poverty has revealed a need for new concepts of poverty to help improve the lives of those who may live on more than the international poverty line but are nonetheless poor by other definitions. This presentation will provide an overview of how the World Bank measures global poverty, describe trends, forecasts, and geographic profiles of poverty, explains recent changes in the value of the international poverty line, and concludes with a discussion of measurement challenges in improving the comparability and quality of the poverty estimates.

You can register for this lecture here.

Venue: Aula, School of Business and Economics, Tongersestraat 53, 6211 LM Maastricht

Date: 23 May 2023

Time: 15:30 - 17:00  CEST