Handbooks of Research on International Political Economy series
Edited by Anthony Payne and Nicola Phillips
Chapter 13: The global governance of development:development financing, good governance and the domestication of poverty
The realities of global poverty and inequalities between the haves and the have-nots are clear and well documented. Poverty is high, but - using a frugal measure - is falling; welfare outcomes are improving across the board, but international inequalities remain large. The latest figures from the World Bank report that in 2008 there were 801 million people living below US$1 a day, which is 14 per cent of the developing world's population, down from 31 per cent in 1990 and 42 per cent in 1981 (Chen and Ravallion 2012). Much has indeed improved. Charles Kenny (2011) has argued that on almost any quality of life indicator the world has seen rapid and universal improvements in life chances. Nevertheless, the gaps between the world's richest and poorest countries have grown larger, despite the sustained growth of a subgroup of big industrialising countries. Inequalities between individuals, across countries, have grown larger with the richest 5 per cent of people receiving one-third of total global income, the same amount as the poorest 80 per cent (Milanovic 2005). The political economy of inequality matters. It works against all countries having a fair voice in global decision-making and allows rich countries systematically to distort trade rules (Pogge 2008; Wade 2003).
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