Sunday, August 04, 2013

Pronab Sen on "Steep Poverty Decline" during 2004-11

Ideas for India gets Ashok Kotwal, its Editor-in-Chief, to interview Pronab Sen, Chairman, National Statistical Commission, "on the recent poverty figures that show a steep decline in poverty in India between 2004 and 2011." This bit is particularly revealing:

There are various stories floating around to explain the poverty decline. Some say it is on account of poverty alleviation schemes such as MNREGA, some say growth has trickled down. This story is slightly different. How can one sort out which of these makes most sense?

Through much more rigorous technical work than I have seen up to now. Too much of the discourse is based on either ideology or seat-of-the-pants analysis or casual empiricism. I am afraid that I too am guilty of all three.