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Commission on Global Poverty

Nora Lustig will serve on the World Bank’s Commission on Global Poverty announced today. The Commission’s mandate is to report on the best ways to measure and monitor poverty and deprivation around the world.

The new Commission, made up of 24 leading international economists, will be chaired by Sir Anthony Atkinson, a leading authority on the measurement of poverty and inequality, the Centennial Professor at London School of Economics, and a Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford University.

Announcing the new advisory body, the World Bank’s Chief Economist, Kaushik Basu, said he expects the Commission to also provide advice on how to adjust the measurement of extreme poverty as and when new Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and other price and exchange rate data become available.

PPP calculations allow economists to compare different global exchange rates to assess household consumption and real income in US dollars, since nominal exchange rates do not accurately capture differences in costs of living across countries.

“We want to hold the yardstick constant for measuring extreme poverty till 2030, our target year for bringing extreme and chronic poverty to an end, “ says Basu who will travel to Europe this week for the Commission’s inaugural meeting.

“Furthermore, poverty has many other dimensions and it is unacceptable in today’s prosperous world that so many people suffer such deprivations. The Global Commission will advise us on other dimensions of poverty that the Bank should collect data on, track, analyze and make available to policymakers for evidence-based decisions.”

In 2014, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announced the Bank’s commitment to two goals that would direct its development work worldwide. The first was the eradication of chronic extreme poverty, defined as those extremely poor people living on less than $1.25 PPP-adjusted dollars a day, to less than 3% of the world population by 2030. The second is the boosting of shared prosperity, defined as promoting the growth of per capita real income of the poorest 40% of the population in each country.

This year, UN member nations are expected to agree in New York to a set of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the first and foremost of which is the eradication of extreme poverty everywhere, in all its forms.

The final report will be ready by end April 2016.

“We expect the Commission report to be influential not only for our own work on poverty but also in shaping global research and policymaking on this most important challenge of our times,” said Chief Economist Basu.

Core Group of Advisors

Sir Anthony Atkinson, Chair
Oxford University and London School of Economics

Sir Anthony Atkinson, is Centennial Professor at the London School of Economics and Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. He was previously Warden of the College. He is Fellow of the British Academy, and has been President of the Royal Economic Society, of the Econometric Society, of the European Economic Association and of the International Economic Association. He is an Honorary Member of the American Economic Association. He has served on the Royal Commission on the Distribution of Income and Wealth, the Pension Law Review Committee, and the Commission on Social Justice. He has been a member of the Conseil d’Analyse Economique, advising the French Prime Minister. He is a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. He is the author of Unequal Shares, The Economics of Inequality, Poverty and Social Security, Public Economics in Action, Incomes and the Welfare State, Poverty in Europe, The Economic Consequences of Rolling Back the Welfare State, Social Indicators: The EU and Social Inclusion (with B Cantillon, E Marlier and B Nolan), The Changing Distribution of Earnings in OECD Countries, Public Economics in an Age of Austerity, and Inequality: What Can be Done? which was recently published. He has published articles in, among other scientific journals, the Review of Economic Studies, the Journal of Economic Theory, the Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Economic Journal, the Scandinavian Journal of Economics, and the Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. He was the editor of the Journal of Public Economics for 25 years.

Andrea Brandolini
Bank of Italy

Andrea Brandolini has been working at the Bank of Italy, the Italian central bank, since 1992. He is currently the Head of the Statistical Analysis Directorate in the DG Economics, Statistics and Research. He represented the Bank of Italy in the Poverty Commissions established by Italian governments (1994-2007) and in the Working Group on Minimum Income at the Minister of Labor and Social Policies (2013). He chaired the Istat’s Commission on the absolute poverty methodology (2006-09) and he is a member of the Istat’s Scientific Committee on the Measurement of Well-Being (since 2011). He was the Italian representative in the Luxembourg Income Study, where he sat in the Executive Board (1997-2009) and directed with Timothy M. Smeeding the Luxembourg Wealth Study, a pilot project aimed at constructing a harmonized cross-national database of micro information on household wealth (2004-07). He chaired the council of the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth (IARIW) and sat in the council of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality (ECINEQ). He is a fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA) and a policy fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). He is associate editor of the Journal of Economic Inequality and a member of the editorial boards of the Review of Income and Wealth, the Italian Economic Journal and Politica economica–Journal of Economic Policy. He has published papers on the analysis of poverty and income and wealth distribution, the measurement of well-being, issues in labor economics, and the history of economic thought. He co-edited, with S.P. Jenkins, J. Micklewright and B. Nolan, The Great Recession and the Distribution of Household Income (Oxford University Press, 2013).

François Bourguignon
Paris School of Economics

François Bourguignon is emeritus professor of economics at the Paris School of Economics. He has been the director of the Paris School from 2007 to 2013. Before that he was the chief economist and senior vice-president of the World Bank in Washington. He spent the rest of his career as a professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He is a specialist in public economic policy, inequality, and economic development and has authored a large number of academic papers and books. He is also active in the international development community, lecturing and advising leading international agencies as well as foreign governments.

Francisco H. G. Ferreira
World Bank

Francisco H. G. Ferreira is a Senior Adviser in the World Bank’s Development Research Group, where he oversees the Bank’s research programs on poverty, inequality and agriculture. He was formerly the Bank’s Chief Economist for the Africa Region, and has also served as Deputy Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, and as co-Director of the World Development Report 2006, on Equity and Development. Francisco is also a non-resident Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA, Bonn), and has published widely in the fields of poverty and inequality in developing countries. He was awarded the Haralambos Simeonides and the Adriano Romariz Duarte Prizes by the Brazilian Economic and Econometric Societies respectively, and the Kendricks Prize by the International Association for Research in Income and Wealth. Francisco serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Economic Inequality (where he was previously Editor in Chief), the Review of Income and Wealth, and the World Bank Economic Review. Francisco has taught at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and at the Paris School of Economics. He was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Ravi Kanbur
Cornell University

Ravi Kanbur is T. H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, International Professor of Applied Economics and Management, and Professor of Economics at Cornell University. He holds an appointment tenured both in the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and in the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Prof. Kanbur’s main areas of interest are public economics and development economics. His work spans conceptual, empirical, and policy analysis. He is particularly interested in bridging the worlds of rigorous analysis and practical policy making. His vita lists over 250 publications, covering topics such as risk taking, inequality, poverty, structural adjustment, labor, urbanization and agriculture. The honors he has received include the Quality of Research Discovery Award of the American Agricultural Economics Association and an Honorary Professorship at the University of Warwick. He is the current President of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, President-elect of the Human Development and Capability Association (HDCA), and a member of the OECD High Level Expert Group on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress..

Peter Lanjouw
University of Amsterdam

Peter Lanjouw is professor of Development Economics at VU University, Amsterdam, since January, 2015. Prior to his appointment to the VU he was Research Manager of the Poverty Team in the Development Economics Research Group of the World Bank. He joined the World Bank in 1992, after completing his doctoral studies in economics from the London School of Economics. Prof. Lanjouw’s research focuses on the analysis of poverty and inequality as well as on rural development, notably the study of a village economy in rural India and the broader analysis of rural non-farm diversification. He has taught at UC Berkeley, University of Namur, the Foundation for the Advanced Study of International Development in Tokyo, and he is also an Honorary Fellow of the Amsterdam Institute of International Development, Amsterdam. Prof. Lanjouw has published in such leading economics journals as Econometrica, the Economic Journal and the Journal of Public Economics as well as numerous field journals such as Journal of Development Economics, The World Bank Economic Review, World Development, Agricultural Economics and the Journal of Economic Inequality. He is currently editor of the World Bank Research Observer.


Nora Lustig
Tulane University

Nora Lustig is Samuel Z. Stone Professor of Latin American Economics and Director of the Commitment to Equity Institute (CEQI) at Tulane University. She is also a Nonresident Fellow at the Center for Global Development and the Inter-American Dialogue. Her current research focuses on assessing the impact of taxation and social spending on inequality and poverty in developing countries and on the determinants of income distribution in Latin America. Prof. Lustig is a founding member and past president of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA) and was a co-director of the World Bank’s World Development Report 2000/1, Attacking Poverty. She is the editor of the Journal of Economic Inequality‘s Forum and Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Global Development Network (GDN). In 2014, Prof. Lustig joined the Stiglitz et al. Commission on Measuring Economic Performance and Social Progress. She received her doctorate in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.


Eric Marlier
Luxembourg Institute of Socio Economic Research

Eric Marlier is the International Scientific Coordinator of the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER). He joined the Institute in 2002. Since 1988, he has been in charge of many international dossiers – for the European Commission, the Council of Europe, the United Nations (UNDESA, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF), the OECD, various national Governments, the research community within and outside the European Union, and the private sector. Eric’s main research activities include: comparative social indicators (EU and beyond), social situation and social policy monitoring, international socio-economic analysis (especially on income, poverty and living conditions), EU cooperation in the field of social protection and social inclusion policies (including the so-called “Social Open Method of Coordination”), and also the implementation of international social surveys and attitudinal surveys. He has organised many international conferences in these areas on behalf of the European Commission and several EU Presidencies, and he is regularly called on as an international policy advisor. He has written widely on comparative socio-economic analysis, social indicators and social monitoring.