by Chris Hoy and Andy Sumner
Center for Global Development Working Paper 433, August 2016
Amartya Sen’s famous study of famines found that people died not because of a lack of food availability in a country but because some people lacked entitlements to that food. Is a similar situation now the case for global poverty, meaning that national resources are available but not being used to end poverty? This paper argues that approximately three-quarters of global poverty, at least at the lower poverty lines, could now be eliminated – in principle – via redistribution of nationally available resources in terms of cash transfers funded by new taxation and the reallocation of public spending (from fossil fuel subsidies and ‘surplus’ military spending).