The World Bank Group’s goal to end extreme poverty within a generation, has the specific target of decreasing the global extreme poverty rate to no more than 3 percent by 2030, since a small amount of frictional poverty is likely to persist. This is possible but challenging, and business as usual will not be enough to reach that target going forward. It will be important to promote growth that is sustained and inclusive, to create more and better jobs, to invest in people’s health, education, nutrition, and sanitation, and to develop effective safety net programs to ensure that the most vulnerable can persevere in the face of shocks. While economic growth is vital, the quality of that growth also matters.
The authors find that the share of income of the poorest quintile does not vary systematically with average income—or, in other words, that the incomes of the poor on average rise proportionately with average incomes—and that consequently, “growth on average does benefit the poor as much as anyone else in society”. Therefore, the authors recommend that “growth-enhancing policies should be at the center of any effective poverty reduction strategy.” The authors emphasize that their findings “do not imply that growth is all that is needed to improve the lives of the poor” or that their findings would “suggest a ‘trickle-down’ process or sequencing in which the rich get richer first and eventually benefits trickle down to the poor”.
Peter Townsend transformed the conception of poverty, viewing it not simply as lack of income but as the configuration of the economic conditions that prevent people from being full members of the society (Townsend, 1979;  Ferragina et al. 2016  ). Poverty reduces the ability of people to participate in society, effectively denying them full citizenship (as suggested by . Marshall ). Given that there are no universal principles by which to determine the minimum threshold of participation equating to full membership of society, Townsend argued that the appropriate measure would necessarily be relative to any particular cultural context. He suggested that in each society there should be an empirically determinable 'breakpoint' within the income distribution below which participation of individuals collapses, providing a scientific basis for fixing a poverty line and determining the extent of poverty (Ferragina et al. 2016  ).