ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Recent Trends in Poverty and Inequality: Some Preliminary Results

Preliminary estimates from the published reports of the 61st round of the National Sample Survey suggest that while poverty did reduce during 1993-2005, the annual rate of reduction in this period was lower than in the 1970s and 1980s. More importantly, the bulk of this decline occurred in 1999-2005, with little or no reduction in poverty in 1993-2000, confirming the earlier consensus that the 1990s were indeed the lost decade for poverty reduction. Although the analysis is not conclusive, the fall in the relative price of food and the regional pattern of changes in employment and wages appear to underlie these trends. These results need to be explored in greater detail as and when the unit level data for 2004-05 become available. The paper also flags certain issues related to the poverty line which need to be settled once and for all.

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