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Edited by Dongsoo Kang and Andrew Mason

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Stephan Klasen

Given Asia’s record of rapid economic growth and the conceptual and empirical problems of the current international income poverty line (‘dollar-a-day’), this chapter discusses whether there is merit in developing an Asia-specific poverty line that addresses some of the shortcomings of the dollar-a-day line and additionally considers Asia’s particular economic situation. We consider various ways of creating an Asia-specific poverty line, including an Asia-specific international income poverty line (using purchasing-power parity, PPP, adjusted dollars) that is derived from Asian national poverty lines. We argue that there can be some merit in developing an Asian poverty line and that, in the case of income poverty, it would be best to ground such an Asia-specific poverty line in a consistent method of generating national poverty lines using national currencies rather than generating a PPP-adjusted poverty line in international dollars that is specific for Asia. It is important that such a poverty line also considers relative poverty in its assessment to reflect the rising aspirations of Asian societies, in line with suggestions made by Chen and Ravallion (2013) on weakly relative poverty lines. In terms of multidimensional poverty lines, there is also some merit in developing an Asia-specific multidimensional poverty index that takes into account the specific living conditions of Asian societies.

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The Asian ‘Poverty Miracle’

Impressive Accomplishments or Incomplete Achievements?

Edited by Jacques Silber and Guanghua Wan

Following rapid economic growth in recent decades, Asia and the Pacific experienced an impressive reduction in extreme poverty, but this drop was not uniform and achievements are still incomplete. Vulnerability to natural disasters, the increasing impact of climate change and economic crises should all be taken into account. There is also a need to consider the multidimensional nature of poverty and the non-uniformity of the decrease across different ethnic groups. This book explores the Asian ‘poverty miracle’ and argues for the development and use of an Asia-specific poverty line.
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Maria Socorro Gochoco- Bautista and Changyong Rhee

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Tomoki Fujii

Scientists estimate that anthropogenic climate change leads to increased surface temperature, sea-level rise, more frequent and significant extreme weather and climate events, among others. In this study, we investigate how climate change can potentially change the vulnerability to poverty using a panel data set in Indonesia. We focus on the effect of drought and flood, two of the commonly observed disasters there. Our simulation results indicate that vulnerability to poverty may increase substantially as a result of climate change in Indonesia.

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Tomoki Fujii

This chapter reviews the growing body of literature on vulnerability. We first provide a survey of existing studies on the concepts and measurements of vulnerability to poverty by classifying them into welfarist, expected poverty, and axiomatic approaches. We then review a number of empirical studies on vulnerability to poverty in Asia and elsewhere. This review shows that poverty and vulnerability are related, but different, and that key determinants of vulnerability often include education and location. We also briefly review other areas of vulnerability analysis such as vulnerability to climate change and offer various policy implications arising from vulnerability analysis.

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Sungbin Cho and Joon-Ho Hahm

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Jong- Eun Lee