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Questions about global poverty and inequality inspire some of the most contentious debates not only among academics but also among politicians and the public at large. This chapter assesses recent empirical trends on poverty and inequality, with a focus on human well-being. It argues that the past decade was one of unprecedented progress for some but stagnation and reversal for others and that there is a growing gap among developing countries as well as among all countries of the world. Although many economists agree that poverty is multidimensional, they continue to use the income poverty framework. Because they argue that economic growth is the primary means to reduce poverty and that there is strong correlation between income poverty and non-income human deprivations. The trends documented in the chapter make it apparent that many countries and groups within countries were marginalized from the global economy during the globalization of the 1990s.
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