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India

Extreme poverty has fallen significantly in India in the last 20 years, though progress slowed more recently and is likely to have reveresed following the Covid-19 pandemic. Being the world's more populous country, the remaining 10% of the Indian population make up a large share of future predicted poverty. India is diverse, with different regions and groups affected by the drivers of poverty in different ways. DEEP is working on innovations in data to measure extreme poverty, analysing of the main drivers of poverty in India, and studying what works to reduce extreme poverty.

Projects in the country

Project 1: Poverty in India in the face of Covid-19: Diagnosis and prospects

A synthetic panel data approach to study poverty and vulnerablity transitions pre-Covid-19 and assess likely impacts of Covid-19 on poverty dynamics in India.

Project 2: Poverty and prejudice: Social recognition and material wellbeing of historically disadvantages groups in India

For historically disadvantaged groups in India, economic disadvantage is compounded by the persistence of various forms of derogatory treatment based on their identity, commonly summarized under the label of ´untouchability´. Our work will combine several existing data sources (National Sample Survey data on consumption, Indian Human Development Survey – II on the practice of untouchability, data from the National Crime Records Bureau on hate crimes) to investigate the links between the living standards of Scheduled Castes and Tribes and the persistence of prejudice against them.

Project 3: Understanding and validating poverty trends in India since 2000

Given the size of the Indian population and its contribution to global poverty counts, the question of how poverty has evolved is a highly policy relevant topic. A recent World Bank study (Roy and van der Weide, 2022) employs forecasting and imputation methods, and a new, private-sector conducted household survey, to estimate poverty trends during the past decade. The study suggests that poverty was falling up until the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, but that the trends were then reversed. These findings are controversial, as anecdotal evidence has suggested that the impressive progress achieved during the first decade of the 21st century had already come to a halt prior to the emergence of Covid-19. There is a need to gauge and assess the findings from the Roy and van der Weide study, based on a broader set of indicators and building up from the sub-national level. This study would compile a wide variety of data and indicators and put together a comprehensive picture and analysis to bring out what has indeed been the trends and the underlying drivers (or associated indicators) of poverty in India since 2000.

Poverty Trends in India

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