The Asian ‘Poverty Miracle’

The Asian ‘Poverty Miracle’

Impressive Accomplishments or Incomplete Achievements?

ADBI series on Asian Economic Integration and Cooperation

Edited by Jacques Silber and Guanghua Wan

Following rapid economic growth in recent decades, Asia and the Pacific experienced an impressive reduction in extreme poverty, but this drop was not uniform and achievements are still incomplete. Vulnerability to natural disasters, the increasing impact of climate change and economic crises should all be taken into account. There is also a need to consider the multidimensional nature of poverty and the non-uniformity of the decrease across different ethnic groups. This book explores the Asian ‘poverty miracle’ and argues for the development and use of an Asia-specific poverty line.

Chapter 2: A poverty line contingent on reference groups: implications for the extent of poverty in some Asian countries

Satya R. Chakravarty, Nachiketa Chattopadhyay and Jacques Silber

Subjects: asian studies, asian development, asian economics, development studies, asian development, development economics, economics and finance, asian economics, development economics


This chapter estimates the number of poor in various countries in Asia by applying an ‘amalgam poverty line’, which is a weighted average of an absolute poverty line (such as $1.25 per day or $1.45 per day) and a reference income (such as the mean or the median income). The number of poor is computed under various values of the weight applied to the absolute poverty line, namely 100 percent, 90 percent, 66 percent and 50 percent. The chapter provides estimates of the headcount ratio and poverty gap ratio under the various scenarios for 25 different countries or regions examined.

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