With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
global poverty and inequality, inclusive growth, structural transformation, the future of foreign aid, Southeast Asia
Andy Sumner is a reader in International Development in the Department of International Development at King’s College London.
His research is at the interface of development studies and development economics.
His research interests focus on the distributional and welfare dynamics of late economic development in developing countries and Southeast Asia in particular, notably Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. In short, how different modes of economic development and structural change have different welfare outcomes.
He has fifteen years’ international research experience using both qualitative and quantitative methods and has published extensively, including ten books. His most recent books are Global Poverty (2016, OUP) and Development and Distribution (2018, OUP).
He is director of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Global Challenges Strategic Research Network on Global Poverty and Inequality Dynamics.
He was appointed at King’s in 2012 and established, with Peter Kingstone, the International Development Institute which became the Department of International Development. Previously, he was a research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Sussex.
He is a member of the ESRC Peer Review College and has also held various roles in academic networks, including as a vice president of, and UK representative to, the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) from 2008 to 2014, and as a council member of the Development Studies Association, UK and Ireland, from 2000 to 2014.
He is an editorial board member of Global Policy, the Journal of International Development, of the European Journal of Development Research. He is also deputy executive editor of Global Policy and book series co-editor for Palgrave Macmillan’s Rethinking International Development.
He is a visiting fellow at CGD and a non-resident fellow at UNU-WIDER and also holds associate positions at Oxford University and Padjadjaran University, Indonesia.
His research has been cited by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), by international development agencies such as the World Bank and UN agencies, and by media including The Economist. He has also been asked to contribute expertise to various policy-related processes such as the Select Committees of the House of Commons, the UN International Panel on Climate Change, and a Lancet Poverty Commission, and he has been listed in US magazine Foreign Policy’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” and in the Huffington Post’s “Most Influential Voices.”
This is the data set for Working Paper 327, “The Future of Global Poverty in a Multi-Speed World: New Estimates of Scale and Location, 2010–2030,” in which Peter Edward and Andy Sumner introduce new model of growth, inequality, and poverty that allows comparison of a wide range of input assumptions.
In this working paper, Peter Edward and Andy Sumner introduce new model of growth, inequality, and poverty that comparison of a wide range of input assumptions. They find that it is plausible that $1.25 and $2 global poverty will reduce substantially by 2030 and the former – $1.25 poverty – could be very low by that time. However, this depends a lot on economic growth and inequality trends—up to almost an extra billion $2 poor people in one scenario.
Middle-income countries are now home to most of the world’s extreme poor and to what Andy Sumner calls the “buoyant billions”—those living on between $2 and $10 a day. Sumner follows the trends and implications.
In this paper, we propose and justify an alternative approach based on four consumption “layers” identified by reference to the global consumption distribution.We consider how each layer of global society has fared since the end of the Cold War.
This paper considers the effectiveness and efficiency of global growth, as a route to poverty reduction, since 1990 and then demonstrates the redistributive challenges implicit in various poverty lines and scenarios.
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. Reducing global poverty at lower poverty lines is increasingly a matter of national inequality.
After a decade of rapid economic growth, many developing countries have attained middle-income status, but poverty reduction in these countries has not kept pace with economic growth. Most of the world’s poor—up to a billion people—now live in these new middle-income countries. These countries also carry the majority of the global disease burden.
This Wonkcast was originally recorded in February 2011. Andy Sumner updates the data from the original Bottom Billion brief in his recent working paper, Where Will the World's Poor Live? An Update on Global Poverty and the New Bottom Billion.
Paul Collier’s 2007 book, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, changed the way we think about poverty and development. Collier argued that the majority of the 5-billion people in the "developing world" live in countries with sustained high growth rates and would eventually escape from poverty. The rest—the bottom billion—live in 58 small, poor, often land-locked countries that are growing very slowly or not at all. These countries, stuck in poverty traps, should be the focus of foreign aid, Collier argued.