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Week 1 – Introduction and Basic Concepts

This week we are discussing concepts of poverty.

Our discussion is based on this week’s reading: Sen, Amartya. 1981. “Chapter 2: Concepts of Poverty” In: Poverty and Famines: An Essay on Entitlement and Deprivation. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Carefully go over my PowerPoint presentation with voiceover where I explain important ideas and concepts covered in the readings. (To listen to the voiceover you need to go to presentation mode)

Read THIS brochure from the world bank where they explain the fundamentals of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

Read THIS two-page PDF that summarizes the story of the creation of the U.S. poverty line and addresses some of its weaknesses

Watch the short video below:

Lecture Posts Questions:

On the comments section below, address the following questions (answers should be at least 100 words in length and posted by Sunday – This is how participation points are assessed (worth 30% of your final grade!) Please save your comments in a safe document before attempting to post it.

  1. From my PowerPoint presentation, what isn’t clear? Any thoughts or comments you would like to share?
  2. From the reading, what is not clear? Any thoughts or comments you would like to share?
  3. What is PPP? Why do researchers use PPP instead of exchange rates for international comparisons?
  4. Summarize the story of the U.S. poverty line and some of the main criticisms. What did you think of this reading (the two-page PDF)?
  5. Summarize the main issues addressed in the video