Bill Easterly: There is an obscure piece of theoretical statistics called “garbage in, garbage out.” Calculating “additional poor in poverty due to crisis” requires (a) knowing what growth would have been in absence of crisis in every country, (b) knowing what growth will actually turn out to be in 2009 or 2010 in every country, not to mention in 2008, since the World Bank’s World Development Indicators do not yet have estimates for that year, (c) having good data on the current level of world poverty, (d) knowing the effect of growth on poverty, (e) projecting the effect of food and fuel prices on poverty, not to mention projecting food and fuel prices.
The reality: (a) is impossible, (b) is almost impossible, (c) Voices of the Vulnerable says the last real global poverty numbers were in 2005, which themselves reflected an upward revision of 40 percent ,(d) is unreliable and volatile, and (e) is impossible.
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