Dalhousie University China and India Poverty Rate Discussion

Background data collection and analysis:

1. Download data on the poverty rate at $1.90/day, $3.20/day, and $5.50/day for China and India for the earliest year available (1990 for China, 1977 for India) and the latest year available (2015 for China, 2011 for India). Use the series Poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 a day (2011 PPP) (% of population), Poverty headcount ratio at $3.20 a day (2011 PPP) (% of population), and Poverty headcount ratio at $5.50 a day (2011 PPP) (% of population).

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2. Download GDP per capita for the same years as the poverty data (use GDP per capita (constant 2010 US$)).

3. For China and India separately, calculate the correlation coefficient between GDP per capita and each measure of poverty.

4. Ravallion (2010) calculates the growth elasticity of poverty reduction. Calculate this variable for both China and India by dividing the percentage change in the poverty rate (over the longest period available) by the percentage change in per-capita GDP over the same period. Do this calculation using the $1.90/day poverty rate, the $3.20/day poverty rate, and the $5.50/day poverty rate. Measure the percentage changes using the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) formula given in Assignment 1.


In your essay, describe the changes over time in poverty in China and India. Compare the two countries to each other, and discuss the reasons why you believe these countries have experienced these changes over time. What government policies does Ravallion (2010) identify that have affected poverty in China and India? What does the growth elasticity of poverty reduction tell us?

Detailed Instructions:

Your essay must have a title, an introduction, and a conclusion. Make sure to define your terms and provide appropriate background information. A suggested essay structure contains five paragraphs:

  • a first paragraph that briefly introduces the argument you will make in the essay;
  • and a fifth, concluding, paragraph that briefly describes the main points you have made in the essay.

a second paragraph describing how the various poverty rates have changed over time;

a third paragraph describing how the poverty rate is related to GDP per capita;

a fourth paragraph describing the growth elasticity of poverty reduction and the policies described by Ravallion;

The maximum length is 500 words plus a two-page data appendix; include a word count at the end of your submission. Include the grading rubric as the first page of your submission. Use Chicago or APA style, and write in 11- or 12-point font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Provide a bibliography listing the references you use, including the class PowerPoints if relevant. You must submit a hard copy (in class) and an electronic copy (on Brightspace) by the deadline. Please note that the electronic copy will be submitted to anti-plagiarism software.

Data Appendix:

The data appendix should include enough detail for the grader to determine that you downloaded the correct data and performed the calculations accurately; if not all of your data fits on two pages, you may decide to include only the first and last years of information. Required charts and figures go into the body of your essay; any supplemental charts and figures should be placed in your data appendix.


  • Late submissions: -10 points per day, starting immediately after 4:05 p.m.
  • Over 500 words: -1 point for each additional 50 words (e.g., -1 for 501 words, -2 for 551 words, etc).

If you submit only an electronic copy and no hard copy, you will receive a zero on the assignment.

If you submit only a hard copy and no electronic copy, you will receive a zero on the assignment.

No rubric: -1 point.

No data appendix: -2 points.

Data appendix over two pages: -1 point for each additional page.

No word count: -2 points.

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