Poverty and Inequality in Myanmar, 2005 to 2017

Vol: 
2019/10
Author name: 
Peter Warr
Year: 
2019
Month: 
December
Abstract: 

Nationwide survey data on household consumption expenditures within Myanmar indicate that between 2005 and 2017 average real consumption levels increased and the estimated level of poverty incidence declined. Nevertheless, the Gini coefficient of expenditure inequality increased. The above events occurred within both rural and urban areas. Inequality between rural and urban areas also increased. This paper critically reviews the statistical information on which the above summary is based. In addition, it is demonstrated that the available studies describe poverty and inequality in particular years but do not explain their changes over time. Explaining the factors influencing changes in poverty incidence and inequality is important because it can potentially contribute to development of a policy framework for achieving poverty reduction while inequality is kept at a low to moderate level. Descriptions of poverty, like the World Bank’s poverty profiles, do not provide that.

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