The objective of this study is to assess whether the estimates of poverty provided by the government of India for the year 1999-2000 are appropriate, as these estimates have generated a lot of controversy both in India and abroad. We examine this issue using non-parametric methods and provide alternate estimates of poverty for all-India and 16 major states. We compare our poverty estimates with those presented in the literature. Our broad conclusion is that the different methods proposed for correcting poverty estimates in India are unlikely to yield even approximately correct estimates of poverty, or consensus on these estimates, when there are unknown measurement errors due to incomparable surveys.
Economic and Political Weekly, October 22, 2005. 4619-4624